Staff take management of specialist wholesaler , Pet Commerce Information & Occasions from Pet Enterprise World UK
The Peregrine Livefoods team (before social distancing restrictions)
Peregrine Livefoods, Europe’s largest reptile products wholesaler, has officially made the final payment en route to becoming a fully independent employee trust.
The latest development comes as founders and co-owners Tim Green and David Perry finalize their four-year exit plan. The duo founded the Harlow-based company in 1987 and employed more than 130 local people during their time.
With the ambition to provide job security for their employees, Tim and Dave developed a strategy to sell the company to the existing employees. When Kingsley Tedder was named Chief Financial Officer, Kingsley helped hire a management team that would eventually eliminate the daily involvement of Tim and Dave.
Tim & Dave later sold their business to a newly formed trust company, Peregrine Livefoods Trustee Ltd. The new trust company is majority-owned by all employees, much like the John Lewis model. This enabled the company to pay Tim and Dave for their valuation from profits over several years, while also providing employees with a tax-free annual bonus scheme.
In the four years since the handover, CEO Chris Jones, along with a senior team of executives, has driven the company to grow significantly from annual sales of £ 14 million to £ 22 million today.
Chris Jones said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim, Dave and Kingsley for the opportunity they have given me and everyone here at Peregrine through the EOT model. Now that we’ve made the final payment, we’ve freed up capital that will be reinvested in the business to improve our customer experience. Watch this room. “
The final payment to Tim and Dave was made today (June 21st) 2021, marking the four year anniversary of the EOT conception with a change in legal directors and a new era for Peregrine. Tim, Dave and Kingsley have all since stepped down as statutory directors but will continue to serve on an advisory basis for Peregrine if necessary. Chris Jones remains the managing director.
With more than 170 employees and delivering over 50,000 orders per month to customers across the UK, Peregrine looks to the future with ambitious plans and further investments.
Peregrine Livefoods used Birkett’s lawyers for the move. Lisa Hayward, Partner and Head of Employee Incentives at Birketts, said, “It is always a pleasure to help a client transition to employee ownership, but Birketts is particularly pleased that Peregrine is reaching this important milestone earlier than forecast.
“It is beneficial for both the local economy and the employees to see the company thrive as an employee-owned company before reaching the founders’ financial independence, which perfectly shows the appeal of an EOT. Moving to an employee ownership model not only sees employees rewarded for their hard work, but also protects the legacy of an organization and we wish Peregrine every success as he enters this new chapter. “