Lush announces 10% move to employee ownership at EOA Conference

At the EOA Annual Conference in Birmingham Lush announced the launch of its Employee Benefit Trust. 10% of new shares in the business have now been issued into the trust to be held on behalf of all permanent Lush Group employees.

On the same day as the government launched it’s industrial strategy focussing on people, place and innovation there is a clear fit for the ownership effect of employee owned businesses having real benefit on the UK economy.

Lush hopes this will protect the values of the company, its independence and prosperity and in turn recognises with gratitude, the significant contribution the employees make to its success.

Karl Bygrave, Director at Lush comments:

“There is this horrible repugnant idea that people are sold along with a business. Many of our employees work with us because they share our beliefs and if the business was sold, their life’s work would be put at risk and we don’t want that for them”.

The intention of the scheme is that the Lush Employee Benefit Trust will be able to purchase a further share from Founders (current shareholders) as they wish to sell shares, with those currently active in the business having agreed to a set valuation. The shares will be valued at five times the profit after tax of the last three years averaged out.

Mark Constantine OBE (Lush Co-Founder and MD) was the keynote speaker at the EOA conference today; he commented that:

“The majority of Lush’s current shareholders are not in favour of ownership passing to other corporations, venture capitalists or into public stocks and shares. We share a series of fundamental beliefs that ownership of the company should stay private. Sometimes companies have “more to them than financial gain. Every now and then some may have a dream, a spirit, something intangible, which doesn’t show in the balance sheets”.

Deb Oxley, CEO of the EOA, said:

“It’s a great start to our conference to hear our keynote speaker Lush’s Mark Constantine announce they have become 10% employee owned. Businesses that have a high level of engagement teamed with giving employees some kind of stake in the business tend to have higher levels of productivity and resilience in the long term and help sustain their ethos, ethics and workforce long after the founders move on from the business.”