TwoTwenty Ltd was incorporated in May 2005 by Alistair Wright. He moved ownership to a holding company, Elephant Holdings, last year and ownership of that has now been transferred to a trust owned jointly by all 40 employees.
The company has a factory and head office in Foston, Derbyshire and another manufacturing centre in Kirby Lonsdale, Cumbria. It designs and manufactures bespoke timber staircases for new build homes, conversions and renovations, selling mostly through builders’ merchants.
All of the existing leadership team is staying involved in the business as trustee directors. Founder Ali Wright, aged 48, is chair of the EOT. He says: “As a small business, in reality we only have a few options for the next phase of growth. We did not want to pursue a trade sale as that does not secure the long-term future for our staff. We did not want to pursue an external investor or management buy-out because of the huge pressure and obligation it brings on future performance. We could not simply share the ongoing profits of TwoTwenty with our employees as that would make us unsaleable, and I certainly couldn’t imagine exiting by just closing down such a strong and vibrant company.
“In effect, we are a family business whose employees are not related, so to create an EOT resonates with every value we have ever aspired to. It creates a legacy for us, provides security for all the staff, and allows us to handsomely reward every employee for the hard work and effort they put in.”
Director Steve Chapman said: “The EOT allows Ali and me to leave the business in the future knowing that we have shown our appreciation for the fantastic team in TwoTwenty, some of whom have been with us from the start. They regularly go above and beyond to provide a great product and service for our customers, so this deal gives financial recognition for that commitment and hard work.
“The engagement and ongoing buy-in of our staff will transform the ability of TwoTwenty to capitalise on the huge opportunities ahead. It also allows us to make a 10% pay rise for everyone and to introduce a new scheme that facilitates a minimum of 22.5% higher pension contributions for each employee. These commitments can genuinely change the lives of our employees and their families.”
Managing director Scott Peden said: “I am extremely excited for the future, to move forward with the employee council, EOT trustees and the whole amazing team to build on the legacy founded by Ali and Steve, ensuring the TwoTwenty ethos, which has contributed to our current success, remains at the very heart of this company.
“Our colleagues will now have a true sense of ownership, creating job security and demonstrating how their daily activities make a direct impact on the business. I don’t know of any companies within our industry that have chosen this exit route, which has made us want to do it even more.”