Optimum Coatings celebrates Employee Ownership 

16th April 2024, 4:25 pm

Expert advice on transition to Employee-Ownership Trust (EOT) provided by accountants and business advisors Beever and Struthers and law firm Brabners 

Accountants and business advisors Beever and Struthers and law firm Brabners have jointly advised Morecambe, Lancashire-based Optimum Coatings, a leading supplier of high-quality complex ophthalmic lenses and lens coatings, on becoming Employee Owned.   

Optimum Coatings has been sold by its owners to its 71 employees through the creation of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) which purchased 100 per cent of the company’s shares.

Optimum is a well-regarded, independent ophthalmic lens manufacturing company.  Through continual investment, Optimum has developed into a one-stop shop offering complex prescription Rx lenses, advanced speciality lenses, free-form lenses, coating, and glazing services with three key target customer groups – opticians, optical laboratories, and hospitals around the world.

This transition highlights the company’s commitment to recognising the invaluable contributions of its employees and ensuring long-term business stability.

This new business structure ensures that every employee-owner shares in the rewards of their hard work and contributes to the company’s future success. It promotes a culture of inclusivity and shared responsibility, where each employee’s role is critical to the company’s overall performance and sustainability.

Optimum directors, Paul Bailey and Mark Marland, said: We deeply value the talent and dedication of our team members. That’s why we’ve embraced this change to acknowledge their hard work in a meaningful way. Our employees now have a stake in the company through trust, solidifying our commitment to long-term success and sustainability.

We see this change as an incredible opportunity for growth and innovation. As an EOT company, we anticipate heightened employee engagement and productivity, resulting in even better service for our customers. This move also guarantees the stability of the company, safeguarding the interests of both our employees and valued clients.”

The Beever and Struthers’ team led by corporate finance director Dean Curtis provided corporate finance advice including valuation, assessment of funding options, tax clearance and deal structuring with support from corporate finance manager Patrick Wilson and audit partner Iain Round.

Dean Curtis said: “Employee Ownership Trusts have become increasingly popular as an exit route for business owners.  The EOT structure offers a route for businesses to preserve their independence and culture, as well as maintaining the integrity of the business. 

It has been a pleasure to support Paul, Mark and the rest of the Optimum and we wish them all the best for the future.”

Beever and Struthers has previously advised on a number of similar employee ownership transactions including; GPW Recruitment, Power Saver Electrical, AC Plastics, Adele Carr Recruitment, Fitfield, Maple Plastics and Sapphire.

Legal advice was provided by a specialist EOT team at Brabners led by senior associate Mairead Platt, assisted by Danielle Phillips.

Both Brabners and Beever and Struthers are members of the Employee Ownership Association, a rapidly growing body which represents organisations throughout the UK that are employee-owned or transitioning to employee ownership.

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