IT firm begins transition to employee ownership

Adam Rollason

A controlling stake in the holding company of a Birmingham-based IT firm has been sold to an employee ownership trust in a deal led by the transactions tax team at PKF Smith Cooper.

Port-P was started in 1994 by Mark Paget and Aaron Harte.

The employee ownership trust idea comes from a government plan designed to promote employee ownership, by allowing all employees to hold an indirect stake in the business, including having a say in how things are run..

Adam Rollason, a tax partner at PKF, led the team that helped with the tax side of the deal for the selling shareholders.

Rollason said: “I am delighted to have been able to help Mark and Aaron achieve their collective vision for the future of the company. I do not doubt that the business will continue to flourish under the new ownership structure and I am excited to follow their journey.

“Whilst employee ownership will not work for every business, it is clearly becoming more prevalent in the tech sector. This is the second EOT transaction which we have completed in three months, and we are continuing to meet similar businesses that are considering employee ownership as a genuine succession planning option.”

Paget said: “In the year in which we celebrate our 30th birthday, it seems fitting to take the first step in the next stage of our journey. The business has been built on the foundations of our incredible team and it feels amazing to recognise and reward them all in transitioning towards full employee ownership.

“The specialist support and guidance provided by the team at PKF Smith Cooper was invaluable in getting the transaction completed within our desired timeframe and we thank them for all of their efforts over the last four months.”

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