Move to employee ownership ‘driven by ambition to remain independent global leaders’, says pioneering cellular communications specialist

Smith Myers, the Bedfordshire-based pioneer of global airborne mobile phone detection, location and communications solutions, has become majority employee owned through an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Founded in 1987 by Tony Smith and Peter Myers, the multi-award-winning innovators have focused on designing disruptive technology for network operators, government agencies, law enforcement, military, and search and rescue (SAR) organisations.

The successful business model includes partnering with aircraft and ground-based vehicle OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and integrators, including some of the world’s largest organisations.

Smith Myers’ ARTEMIS suite of SAR products has been in active service saving lives around the world since 2017 with the lead customer The Royal Norwegian Airforce on its Leonardo AW101 Search & Rescue Helicopter Program.

Most recently selected by the UK Maritime Coast Guard Agency under SAR2G, the growing global customer base includes programmes in Europe, North America, South America, and the Middle East.

The company is also proud to partner with world-class organisations including Airbus, Britten Norman, CarteNav, Diamond Aircraft, General Dynamics, Hensoldt, Leonardo, Nova Systems, QinetiQ, Sentient Vision Systems, Shotover Systems, Teledyne, and Textron amongst others.

Employee ownership motivations

Smith Myers co-founding directors Peter Myers (left) and Tony Smith sign up to the Employee Ownership Trust and transfer of controlling shares

The cellular communications specialist says becoming employee owned recognises the contribution of employees and supports its ambitious global market development and new product roll-out in addition to fixed wing and rotary crewed and uncrewed airborne platform solutions.

On becoming majority employee owned, co-founder Peter said: “It was a logical result of our continued investment in the wealth of talent in the business and was driven by our ambition to remain independent global leaders in an exciting and dynamic technology sector.”

Tony, co-founding director, added: “This exciting new structure places the business in an ideal position to further develop as a world-leading organisation, creating unmatched technology solutions.”

The employee ownership announcement follows the appointment earlier this year of Andrew Munro as Managing Director, and an expanded Board including Simon Alford, Director – Software Architecture; John Gillespie, Director – Test Systems and Production; and Nathan Herbert, Director – Hardware Development. Both Peter and Tony continue as directors and shareholders in the business they established.

Postlethwaite Solicitors advised the company throughout the transition.

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