CLASSIC Motor Cars is now owned by its own workers after its chairman transferred his shares to an employee shareholder trust.
The company in Bridgnorth, previously featured in issue 7 of Workshop Magazine, employs 60 staff and is famous for its restoration of some of the world’s most important cars, specialising particularly in Jaguars.
With the chairman, Peter Neumark, who has owned and chaired the company since its foundation in 1993, transferring his majority shareholding into The Classic Motor Cars Ltd Employee Shareholder Trust, CMC becomes an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), meaning that the staff own and run the business themselves.
Neumark said: ‘I am nearer seventy than sixty and Nick Goldthorp, who founded this great business with me and has been largely responsible for where we are today, is now approaching retirement age, so we felt we had a duty to oversee a passing of responsibility, and who better than the workforce themselves?
‘This sort of structure best exemplified by the John Lewis Partnership was deemed to be the best home for the company to ensure its future, safeguarding the jobs of its highly skilled workforce and providing stability for future growth and prosperity.
‘Virtually every example of an EOT business we looked at showed greater profitability, greater productivity, better staff retention and ultimately of course happier customers. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved and I look forward to watching the company continue to set the standards for world-class car restoration.’
The day to day management of the business will be controlled by an operational board, chaired by David Barzilay and comprising Managing Director Tim Leese, Production Director Tim Griffin, non-execs Nick Goldthorp and Richard Charlesworth (formerly of Bentley).
They in turn will report to a board of trustees who are responsible for the good governance of the company and ensuring it is run in the best interests of its beneficiaries, the employees.
The board of trustees consists of outside professionals, chaired by Peter Neumark with an employee trustee, Luke Martin, voted on by his fellow workers, and former non-exec operational board member Richard Coe.
Currently the company is working on more than 22 classic car restorations including many famous marques such as, Aston Martin, Jaguar and Lancia, among others and last year had a turnover of £5.2 million.
Tim Leese, managing director of the new operational board, said: ‘These are very exciting times and the whole team is very grateful for Peter’s generosity and everyone looks forward to making a greater contribution to the company’s future success.’
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