Transition to employee ownership ‘signals start of exciting chapter’ for long-standing industrial metal finishing specialist

Industrial metal finishing specialist Pym & Wildsmith (Metal Finishers) Ltd has announced that the founders have transferred 100% of the business’s shares into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), “signalling the start of a new, exciting chapter for the company”.

Founded in 1979 by Stephen Pym and Tony Wildsmith, Pym and Wildsmith has established itself as a leading metal finishing business in the Midlands, employing over 60 people at its Bramshall-based facility.

Having been tirelessly involved in the running of the company, and following a considerable period of discussions around the succession of the business, the Pym family decided to transfer to employee ownership, believing it offers the best opportunities to uphold the legacy and values of the company, whilst enhancing job security and employee engagement.

Commenting on the decision, Finance Director Sarah Pym-Eaton said: “Having such a long-standing business, eventually you must look towards your own wishes for retirement and life outside of the business, by investigating the succession plans that can be put in place.

“As a family, we have committed our lives to this company, and we want to be able to see our company continue from strength-to-strength, providing for our extended family and our employees’ families for generations to come. It was important for us that the legacy and values were upheld having worked hard towards them over the past 40 years.

“Our employees and customers were at the forefront of our thinking when considering which option to take. This decision means we will be able to retain and attract the right people for our business culture, enabling us to continue delivering to our customers the very best service.”

New MD put in place at Pym & Wildsmith

Whilst a change in ownership will have some impact, the leadership of the business will continue to be supported by both Sarah and Ian Pym, who will remain as directors.

The Operations Board also includes the introduction of a Managing Director role, and the current Operations Manager, Craig Taylor, has been appointed.

Craig has been involved with the succession discussions for some time and is enthusiastic about the opportunities available for the business within the new employee ownership landscape.

He said: “I would like to go on record and thank the Pym family for this exciting opportunity given to myself and the team. I am really looking forward to delivering for our customers and working together to achieve success for everyone.”

Growth of employee ownership sector

Employee ownership is one of the fastest-growing business succession solutions in the UK. There are now more than 1,000 employee-owned businesses, with the sector more than doubling in the past three years.

One in every 20 private company sales is now to an EOT, with Pym & Wildsmith joining a network of EOTs in the UK that include Richer Sounds and Go Ape.

James de le Vingne, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), said: “We congratulate our members Pym & Wildsmith on its transition to employee ownership; securing the ethos, values and culture of the business, as well as rooting jobs in the Midlands.

“Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility, uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose, and leaving businesses in a better position to flex and adapt.”

For further information about Pym & Wildsmith and its journey into employee ownership, visit

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