Employees take ownership at £46m turnover wholesaler

Gilbert Thompson (Leeds) Ltd, a fourth generation, family-owned wholesaler, has become an employee-owned business.

The £46m turnover business was established in 1946 by Gilbert Thompson. It is now managed by the fourth generation of Thompsons, brothers Daniel and Richard.

They are transferring 80% of shares to an Employee-owned Trust (EOT) for the benefit of employees. The pair will remain joint managing directors.

Based at the Yorkshire Produce Centre in Leeds, the company operates in two main fields: fresh produce and flowers and plants.

Through its fresh produce businesses, GT Produce Ltd & C Scruton (Produce) Ltd, the company supplies a range of fresh produce from around the world.

The floral side of the business, GT Flowers Ltd, supplies flowers for all occasions and operates one of the largest wholesale cash and carries in the UK. It stocks over 5,000 lines of floristry supplies, constantly adding new lines to keep up with current trends.

Daniel and Richard Thomson, joint managing directors, said: “It’s such a proud moment to be able to hand over Gilbert Thompson.

“Transferring ownership into our amazing team’s hands ensures our culture and values live on, which was one of the most important factors for us in considering any next chapter for the company.

“We firmly believe this next chapter as an employee-owned business is just reward for the hard work and talent of our brilliant team.”

Gilbert Thompson was advised by Tariq Javaid, Karen Sadler, Richard Weston and Patrick Cree at Azets. Peter Turk and Paul Trudgilll at Knights provided legal advice.

Javaid, corporate finance partner at Azets said: “Gilbert Thompson is a business exceptionally well-suited for employee ownership, being an organisation with a strong  family culture, firmly established values and an emphasis on the quality of its people.

“It has been a privilege to work with Daniel, Richard and the team in assisting them with this transition, and I am confident Gilbert Thompson has a bright future as an employee-owned business.”

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