Family run food-to-go supplier Raynor Foods has transformed its ownership structure and transferred the entire shareholding to its 300 employees.
It means the workforce will all have a financial stake in the business and a say in the way that it is run going forward.
Established by the Raynor family in 1988, the group generates annual turnover of about £25m and makes almost 20 million sandwiches, wraps, rolls and salads a year at its base in Essex.
The family said it had transferred the entire shareholding to an employee-owned trust (EOT) and added the move would provide the “best basis for future growth” and continuous improvement of staff welfare and motivation.
“There will be none of the upheaval associated with a change in ownership and the company will continue to be run in the same way, by the same people,” according to a statement from the group.
“The difference is that the words ‘family firm’ will now extend their meaning to include every member of our workforce.”
The management team and financial basis of the company will remain unchanged, with interim head of finance Ian Aston taking on a permanent role as finance director.
Former owners Matthew and Heather Raynor will also assume non-executive roles.
“As we enter this exciting new era for Raynors, we look forward to continuing our partnerships with customers and suppliers and maintaining our focus on being a progressive and constantly improving food manufacturing business,” the statement added.
By law, employees must have a say in how an employee-owned business is run, as well as having a financial stake in the company.
According to the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), there are more than 1,400 employee-owned business in the UK.