Employees ringfence ownership of Yorkshire fencing firm

Cathy Cook from LCF Law and Chris Davison, MD of Davison Fencing, Bradford

A longstanding Yorkshire company that provides large-scale fencing solutions to the construction, housing, education, sports and recreational sectors, is now owned by its employees, after transferring into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Davison Fencing was established more than 30 years ago as a family business. Today the company is a leading installer of mesh panel systems, timber fencing and steel railings to schools, colleges, construction projects and all other types of commercial premises throughout the north of England.

The new structure gives Davison Fencing’s 30-strong team a vested interest in the future success of the business, whilst managing director, Chris Davison and the senior team continue their roles with no changes.

The company was advised by Cathy Cook and Michael Crook of Yorkshire based LCF Law, and David Butterworth from Wheawill & Sudworth provided accountancy advice. In addition, Stephen Frazer of Frazer Hall Corporate Finance and Simon Shorthouse of Sandringham Financial Partners provided commercial advice to the board.

Chris Davison said: “Davison Fencing has a hugely experienced and dedicated team with a strong track record working on all types of large-scale projects throughout the north and beyond. At a time when recruitment and staff retention is an issue throughout the construction industry, the quality of our people gives us a clear advantage, which translates into the level of service our clients enjoy.

“The EOT concept offers the best chance of maintaining and preserving our team, as well as demonstrating a long-term commitment to clients, which include tier one construction companies through to public sector organisations. The fact that all our people now have a stake in the products and services we provide, can only enhance the quality and standard of workmanship that we are already renowned for.

“The advice that the team at LCF Law provided has been clear and straightforward throughout and the firm has been instrumental in enabling us to realise our ambition of joining an exclusive group of businesses that operate as EOTs.”

Cathy Cook, who is a partner within LCF Law’s corporate department, said: “Davison Fencing is a successful and well-established business that had numerous options in front of it, but ultimately the EOT offers the best way for the company’s deserving team to maintain continuity and ownership in the future.

“EOTs are an increasingly attractive option for businesses with the added benefit of tax advantages for both current shareholders and employees. In this case, it has enabled the directors to transfer ownership of the company to the team, whilst giving them the freedom to continue working in the business and mentoring the senior team, in preparation for the future, which was an ideal scenario for everyone involved.”

Notable projects that Davison Fencing has recently completed include installing security fencing at Humberside Police’s new base in Melton, which was built by Willmott Dixon. Earlier this year the company provided site fencing for a development of 165 homes at Acomb near York and for the redevelopment of Boston Spa’s British Library site, which are both being built by Wates Construction.

Davison Fencing has also completed the design and installation of security fencing and automated gates at Frank Marshall Estates’ Nano Park campus developments across Yorkshire and recently installed security gates and fencing at Oldham’s new £27million New Saddleworth School.

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