Member News | Aldridge Trimming transfers ownership to employees.

Wolverhampton based Aldridge Trimming Ltd has become the latest company to join the rapidly growing number of companies across the UK owned by its employees.

Founded in the 1930’s, Aldridge Trimming originally provided general trimming services for cars of the 1920’s and 1930’s era. Simon Aldridge took over the business in 1980 and since that time the business has developed a worldwide reputation for supplying quality British made interior trim and bespoke trimming refurbishments for classic car enthusiasts in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

The company’s 37 employees now own 100% of the company via an Employee Ownership Trust. Simon’s decision to move to an employee ownership structure came about after he started considering his succession options and had spoken with some of the growing number of former business owners who have chosen employee ownership as their exit route

Speaking following the move, Simon said “The idea of selling the business to someone else was always a reason why I put off looking at succession. Thankfully employee ownership means that Aldridge Trimming will be able to operate long into the future as an independent company. He added “Employee ownership ticked all of the right boxes for me and the Company. It presented an opportunity to allow me to exit the business without needing to sell to a competitor, without disrupting the business, our customers or suppliers. We have nearly 40 highly skilled trimmers and machinists, many of whom have worked here for 20+ years, and employee ownership will ensure that they have control of their future”.

Simon Aldridge is remaining as a director of the business, but control has been passed to Jenni Austin, who has been general manager of Aldridge Trimmings for 3 years, and the wider management team. Jenni said of the move to employee ownership “all of us are genuinely enthused by the fact that we have been able to transfer ownership without needing to sell Aldridge Trimming to another company and risk destroying what has been built up over the years. In the current climate, all employees are looking for some comfort around job security. What better way to do this than with all of us as owners?”. Jenni added “we have a world class reputation for making high quality British made products and our customers now know that every time they place an order with us an owner of the business is looking after them”.

Aldridge Trimming was advised by Andrew Harrison of employee ownership specialists Co-ownership Solutions LLP. Harrison said of employee ownership “employee led businesses are more flexible and their employees united in a form of common purpose and shared responsibility. Evidence shows that this makes them more resilient, entrepreneurial and adaptable to future challenges”. On Aldridge’s choice of employee ownership Harrison added “Simon is one of an evergrowing number of business owners that are realising that employee ownership is a very sensible and simple way of achieving business succession without needing to break or disrupt a business and one with obvious tax advantages for the outgoing owner and the employees”.