EOA welcomes Richer Sounds’ move to majority employee ownership
The EOA is delighted its member Richer Sounds has transitioned to employee ownership via and employee owned Trust:
Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “We congratulate Richer Sounds on its transition to employee ownership: another great brand bringing employee ownership to the high street.
“We’re delighted to see it secure its future independence with a focus on its people and an eye on the future world – a world with a more inclusive economy and where more businesses are doing well while doing good.”
Below follows a press release from Richer Sounds:
Julian Richer transfers 60% of his shares to employees.
Julian Richer, Founder and MD of Richer Sounds, has announced that he is transferring 60% of his shares into an Employee Ownership Trust.
Richer commented, “I have always planned to leave my company in trust on my death for the benefit of the colleagues in the business. Having hit the ripe old age of 60 I March, I felt the time was right, rather than leaving it until I’m not around, to ensure that the transition goes smoothly and I can be part of it. The company’s banks, suppliers and customers should feel that the move is (hopefully) seamless and Richer Sounds carries on as normal.”
Richer plans to stay involved with the business, but leaves the day to day running of Richer Sounds to its existing Management Board, along with a Colleagues’ Advisory Council and trustees.
The Management Board is made up of longstanding directors, the newest of which has served for 25 years, and they are steeped in the culture of the company, while the Colleagues’ Advisory Council will be made up of current employees and is tasked with representing their interests and concerns. A trustee will chair the Colleagues’ Advisory Council.
The Richer Sounds Trust (as the Employee Ownership Trust will be known) will operate according to a set of principles within the Trust to make sure that Richer Sounds continues to operate in an responsible manner, and is based on honesty, commitment, trust and respect.
These principles ensure that the company continues along the lines that Richer has built the company on for the previous 40 years.
Overseeing the transition is David Robinson, Chairman of Richer Sounds. He said, “It’s incredibly exciting times and allows our colleagues to feel even more connected to the company. They have a real stake in the success of the business and can take pride in knowing that they are shareholders, building for the future.”
Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “We congratulate Richer Sounds on its transition to employee ownership: another great brand bringing employee ownership to the high street. We’re delighted to see it secure its future independence with a focus on its people and an eye on the future world – a world with a more inclusive economy and where more businesses are doing well while doing good.”
Richard Lowe, Head of UK Large Corporate at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Barclays has supported Richer Sounds with banking facilities for over 20 years, drawing on our industry expertise to help the company adapt and grow in a changing retail environment. This is an exciting new phase for them and we’re proud to have facilitated this innovative shift towards employee ownership.”
Fiona Bell, RSM Legal LLP partner, who has been working on this project over the past 18 months, alongside the team at leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM, comments: ‘We’re delighted to have the privilege to work with the Richer Sounds’ team on the successful transition to employee ownership. With RSM’s multidisciplinary approach to client advice and our relevant client experience in this field we were well placed to navigate the company through the complex legal and tax implications. We wish Richer Sounds and its colleagues every success in the future as an EOT.’