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Sun June 20 2021

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Employees buy minority stake in safety consultant

4 Dec 20 Latest construction industry business to join the ranks of the employee owned – at least partially – is safety specialist Safer Sphere.

Mike Forsyth
Mike Forsyth

Safer Sphere was established in St Helens in 2012 by Mike Forsyth as a CDM consultancy. He has now sold 49% of the £1m-turnover business to an Employee Benefit Trust.

Other employee-owned companies in the construction industry include Tonic Construction, Triton Construction and McGee Group, as well as the big consulting engineers Mott Macdonald and Arup.

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Safer Sphere managing director Mike Forsyth said “Today marks the eighth anniversary of the inception of Safer Sphere as a construction health and safety consultancy, a milestone I never conceived when I set out on this journey and testament to the brilliant staff, project teams and clients we work with. It is therefore very fitting on the same day I also celebrate and welcome every employee of Safer Sphere as a partner within the business. Safer Sphere has converted 49% of its ownership to an employee benefit trust, meaning all of our superb team now have a stake in the company. This provision has been put in place to align with our business growth plan, reward our team for their substantial efforts and to enable them to share in the future successes that we hope to see in the coming years and beyond.”

Selling up to an employee benefit trust enables shareholders to realise the value of their asset without paying capital gains tax. For more on this topic, listen to Paul Clarkson, managing director of Yorkshire’s Triton Construction, tell the Re:Construction podcast what it means to be employee-owned. (He joins the conversation at 13 mins 20 seconds.) - Episode 34, (21st October 2020)

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