Source: Employee Ownership Association
Paper manufacturer and distributor Tullis Russell became majority employee owned in 1994 in a pioneering arrangement that involved the transfer of ownership to staff and unlocked capital for the family that had owned most of the business since 1809. The company employs nearly 800 people at three sites in the UK and one in South Korea. It has annual sales of around £136 million.
Tullis Russell began its journey from family to employee-owned in the 1940s when three family members inherited 75% of the shares, and the remaining 25% were transferred to a charitable trust, the Russell Trust. Its trustees are responsible for acting in the best interests of the employees. They can veto any proposed sale of the business and appoint directors. By the early-1980s shares were held by 40 family members. Only one, David Erdal, had any day-today involvement in the business, and the others were keen to release the value of their shareholding without compromising the firm's independence. Erdal believed this could best be achieved by extending employee ownership.
Publication Date: 2009-01-01