Leading furniture manufacturer transitions to employee ownership to ‘maintain collaborative way of working’

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) congratulates Opus Magnum on its transition to employee ownership.

The London-based business, which designs, crafts and installs bespoke furniture and fittings for complex and large-scale commercial spaces, said in a statement that the transition “will enable us to maintain our collaborative way of working and continue to produce high quality furniture into the future in a way that might not have been guaranteed in a trade sale”.

The company’s two founders, Chris Turner and John Baulkwill, have transferred 100% of the share capital to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) where the beneficiaries are all the employees at Opus Magnum.

From small beginnings in 1989, the Opus Magnum workshop has grown at a steady pace and now employs more than 30 people. Its work has been varied and includes the Select Committee Rooms in the Palace of Westminster, the Weston Library in Oxford, the UK Supreme Court and many commercial companies.

The statement added: “The main ingredients of every project have been high quality design, innovation and craftsmanship. These attributes would not be possible without dedicated people that enjoy what they do for a living and Opus Magnum has been fortunate to have a great team. Consequently, it seems a natural progression to move to employee ownership.”

The business says its activities and services to clients will not be interrupted by this transition. The leadership team has a combined 210 years with the company and remains constant, with Chris and John remaining and two new directors being appointed – Adrian Price and Neil Randall.

“We are proud of what the team has achieved over the last 34 years and look forward to strengthening our position as a leading furniture manufacturer into the future,” they said.

All the legal work for this transition has been carried out by Andrew Evans and his team at Geldards. In addition, Opus worked with Jeremy Gadd of J Gadd Associates to train its new trustees, and Alun Thomas worked with its management team.

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