Merlin ERD has transitioned into an employee-owned company.
The extended reach drilling experts delivered more than 200 projects in 40 countries, from their offices in Perth.
Commenting on the decision to become employee-owned, founder Iain Hutchison said: “When I first began to consider succession options, I didn’t think employee ownership (EO) was right for the company.
“However, after attending a Scottish Enterprise session, I discovered that the benefits of EO were heavily aligned with our values and it offered the perfect combination of an eventual exit for me along with advantages for our loyal staff. I really didn’t want to see what we had built here in Scotland being moved, or worse, closed by a competitor allowing them to flourish elsewhere at the expense of our local team.
It is my belief that our transition to employee ownership will lead to even greater things for the business as we secure its longevity and open attractive new opportunities for our employees who will stand to share in future profits of the business.”
For Merlin the transition will see employment for 20 staff and a similar number of consultants secured in Scotland.
Merlin ERD was guided and supported through the implementation of the new ownership structure by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), Scottish Enterprise’s employee ownership support arm.
CDS director Sarah Deas said: “Having worked tirelessly to build Merlin ERD into the successful business it is today, Iain wanted to ensure he had a succession plan in place that would safeguard the company’s future when he decides to take a step back.
“By becoming employee-owned, the company is keeping highly-specialised jobs and skills in Scotland, whilst all members of the workforce will benefit from a stake in the business and the rewards of strong company performance.”
Latest figures show that there are 86 employee-owned (EO) companies operating in Scotland, with approximately 6,800 employee-owners generating a combined turnover of around £925million. Statistics consistently demonstrate that employee-owned businesses outperform their non-EO counterparts in terms of higher levels of profitability; improved business resilience during times of recession; increased productivity brought about by higher levels of engagement and enhanced employee wellbeing.
Sarah Deas added: “The popularity of EO in Scotland is growing with the number of employee owned businesses operating in Scotland trebling over the past five years. Although Iain didn’t think employee ownership was right for Merlin ERD at first, he approached it with an open mind and was soon won over. With such a wide range of benefits for all parties in the transaction, employee- ownership is a succession option that should be explored by businesses of all sizes in all sectors.”