Employees take ownership of specialist equipment supplier

AUS, a manufacturer and distributor of operational and safety-critical products for the Rail and Electrical Supply markets, has become an employee owned company.

The business is based in based in Clayton West, Huddersfield, and was set up by Simon Gibson and Paul Hornby. Gibson took control of the company in 2012.

Since 2012 AUS has invested heavily in machinery to bring previously subcontracted manufacturing in-house, resulting in lower production costs, shorter lead times, a greater level of control over production, and a significant number of jobs being created.

Gibson has now sold 70% of his shares to the Employee Ownership Trust. He will continue his role as chairman and will play a leading part in taking AUS on into the future.

A spokesman for the business said: “AUS have always been a family-run firm, and this family atmosphere is woven into the very fabric of the company.

“It means that when our managing director looked at the long-term future of the company, selling to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) was by far the best option for the AUS family.

“A key point for owner and managing director, Simon, was that selling to an EOT would ensure ownership succession would not lead to the company being sold to a third party and potentially split up or relocated with staff losing jobs.

“This allows the company to continue to operate in its current manner without disruptions to staff or philosophy.

“Each employee becomes a beneficial owner of the company through the trust. This is important for the sustainability and progression of the company as each employee has an extra incentive to work hard, take responsibility, and drive the company forward.

“For Simon, it was of utmost importance that whatever happens to AUS, it remained an innovative manufacturing firm with integrity that sells high-quality products and always goes above and beyond for customers.

“It is believed the EOT provides the perfect roadmap to the sustainability and long-term success of the company through a joint, collective effort from all staff members and directors.”

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