Staff take ownership at engineering and manufacturing business

The Challenger Group, an engineering and manufacturing business based in Yorkshire, has become employee owned.

The first of the group’s businesses began in 1989. It has since expanded to now have four companies on three sites, with more than 70 employees.

The four companies are Challenger Hydraulics Ltd, Challenger Manufacturing Ltd trading as Comet Fluid Power, Challenger Handling Ltd and CFP Hydraulic Systems Ltd. The manufacturing sites are in Dewsbury, Hull and Chesterfield.

Sam Pepper and Richard Green, the owners are transferring 100% of their shares to the Warwick Street Holdings Ltd Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) for the benefit of all its employees.

Under the move, all employees will benefit financially from the future success of the company and Pepper and Green will remain in the business as joint managing directors.

Regional accountancy and business advisor, Azets, has advised the group on transitioning to being an employee owned enterprise.

The group manufactures a range of products from hydraulic cylinders, balers, conveyors, hose and fittings and recycling/reconditioning equipment, with its core strength providing professionally designed and well-engineered solutions.

Pepper and Green said: “It’s such a proud moment to be able to hand over The Challenger Group.

“Selling the company to our employees through the creation of the EOT ensures the stability of the business for the long-term and supports our desire for further continued growth.

“This move recognises the value that our teams have delivered over the years, and it is a very exciting opportunity for each individual to take a pivotal role as the businesses progress.

“Creating a great place to work is fundamental to our business principles, and we’re very excited about the next stage of the journey.”

The Challenger Group was advised by Tariq Javaid, corporate finance partner, Richard Weston, corporate finance manager, Steven Holmes, tax director and Karen Sadler, senior tax manager at Azets. Adam Cockcroft, partner at Ramsdens provided legal advice.

Javaid said: “The Challenger Group is a business exceptionally well-suited for employee ownership, being an organisation with a strong culture, firmly established values, and an emphasis on the quality of its people.

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

“This is the sixth EOT Azets in Yorkshire has advised on this year. They are an increasingly popular option for the transition of ownership, given the wide range of benefits they can provide to the business, its owners and employees.”

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