Grampian ESOP agreed
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• Aberdeen-based Grampian Transport (GT) has completed its management workforce buyout following approval from Scottish Secretary Malcolm Rifkind.
Last year Grampian Regional Council confirmed that it was prepared to accept an offer from its employees for the company, and the sale was announced this week at approximately million.
The buyout gives the management team 51% of the shares in the new company. Employees will hold 33% and two financial institutions the remaining 16%. The new company has drawn up an employee share ownership plan (ESOP) to ensure that a substantial proportion of share ownership will remain with its employees.
The ESOP will operate in a similar way to the Yorkshire Rider scheme, with staff being allocated shares over a period of about 10 years. The scheme will start with a one-off issue dependent on individual length of service, followed by equal shares to all employees. It is anticipated that the employee holding will rise to 49%.
Funding has come from the Aberdeen branch of the Bank of Scotland, Aberdeen Fund Managers and 3i Aberdeen. Local advice has come from Touche Ross Securities (Corporate Finance) and solicitors Paull and Williamsons.
Managing director Moir Lockhead says: "The success of the buyout has generated a renewed air of confidence Within the company and we feel certain the deal offers employees and management a secure arid long-term future."
Grampian Transport was Scotland's third largest local authority bus company, with a fleet of over 240 buses and coaches and a staff of 650.
The company took over a local coach company GE Mair in December 1987, and now operates 28 vehicles as a separate subsidiary from premises at Dyce.