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Fri June 21 2024

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McGee brothers transfer ownership to employees

12 May 20 London-based specialist contractor McGee Group is now owned by its employees after the McGee family moved ownership to an employee ownership trust (EOT).

Founded in 1959, the second generation McGee brothers – Michael, Brian and John – have grown the business to beyond £100m annual turnover.

McGee Group companies have worked on several of London’s flagship infrastructure projects including Wembley Stadium, Heathrow Airport T2B, Battersea Power Station, the Londoner Hotel and the iceberg basement of Claridges Hotel.

The group is now 100% owned by the EOT, which holds all of the shares on behalf of the 375 employees (the beneficiaries). 

Chairman Brian McGee said that handing the company to employee ownership was a natural step. 

“It would have been relatively easy for us to sell McGee Group to a third party, but we did not want to do that, he said. "Michael, John and I, similar to our father, have always recognised the contribution of our employees, which is why the move to employee ownership in many ways, was the obvious next phase of the McGee journey.”

“For us, it’s a move designed to secure the future of the business, continue the legacy that our father started in 1959 and reward the people who have made the business the success it is today – its employees,” he said.

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The McGee family will remain with the business, with third generation Tom McGee joining the board of McGee Group (Holdings) Ltd.

Managing director Seb Fossey said: “The decision by the McGee brothers to transition ownership of the business to the group’s employees via an EOT underscores the respect for the contribution our people have made to the McGee business.

“In doing this, the McGee brothers have created a clear platform for genuine alignment between all of our new ‘employee owners’ that will further reinforce our culture of delivering upon our commitments to clients, and stands us in good stead as we drive to achieve our strategic goals.  Undoubtedly, at this time of crisis in the industry, our transition to employee ownership will serve as fuel for our business and will help enable us to emerge stronger.”

McGee said that employee-owned businesses had been shown to deliver superior business performance, with higher productivity, better profitability and greater levels of innovation.

Other employee-owned construction contractors in the UK include Erith Holdings, as well as consulting engineers Arup and Mott MacDonald. Outside of construction, employee-owned businesses include John Lewis & Partners, Aardman Animations, Riverford Organics and Richer Sounds.

The McGee team that built Claridges' iceberg basement extension
The McGee team that built Claridges' iceberg basement extension

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