North-east energy service firm Tricore has joined the throng of Scottish firms becoming employee-owned.
Founded in 1987 by Greg Henderson and Bill Bowie, Tricore provides a refurbishment service for new and used roller cone drill bits for use within the oil and gas, construction and mining industries.
The company has refurbished thousands of units for North Sea drilling operations from its premises in Blackburn Industrial Estate, near Aberdeen. The facility is believed to be the largest bit refurbishment and maintenance facility in the UK.
Following the death of Mr Henderson, the company reviewed its ownership structure.
Operations manager Wallace Hay said: “We had to come up with an ownership solution that allowed equity to be released to Greg’s estate and Bill to retire, but also ensured the future security of the company and safeguarded jobs.
“Many options were considered but when our accountants suggested employee ownership we soon realised it ticked all of our boxes.
“It protects the ethos of the company and the existing team as well as providing a satisfactory solution for the previous owners.”
Mr Hay added: “When Greg sadly passed away and Bill announced his desire to retire, the team were understandably concerned about what was going to happen.
“After informing them about employee ownership though, they are extremely excited about the future.
“Protecting jobs was an extremely important factor in our decision. Many employees have been with us for over 20 years and have played a vital role in the growth and success of Tricore.
“Moving into employee ownership gives job certainty to everyone who works here and enables them to have control of their future. Although they were initially surprised, the staff are very excited about the opportunities it will bring and have very much embraced the concept of employee ownership.
“Our new structure will also provide clarity over roles and the opportunity for the team to improve current working practices.”
An employee ownership trust has been formed and holds 100% of the shares on behalf of all six staff.
The transition was supported by Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), the arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies that promotes employee ownership.
Mr Hay said: “Although there have been a number of hurdles to jump over, there have been no real issues.”
CDS head Clare Alexander said: “Employee ownership is a succession option that should be explored by businesses of all sizes and sectors.”