Neil Carr, director & Ian Duckworth, also a director at UK Electronics completes its move to employee ownership

Greater Manchester-based UK Electronics has made the move to employee ownership (EO) following the sale of all its shares to an employee ownership trust.

UK Electronics, whose premises are in Royton, Oldham, specialises in the manufacture of high-quality electronic assemblies, providing a completely comprehensive, cost-effective service to customers who choose to outsource their PCB assembly, electronic design, final build, and any test requirements.

Neil Carr and Ian Duckworth purchased the company in 2003 and have been instrumental in supporting and financing the development and expansion of UK Electronics by investing in people, skills, and the latest technology available.

As the Company celebrates its 40th anniversary, the transition to the EO model reflects its market-leading culture, built on open communication between management and staff and a desire to work well together with customers and suppliers alike, for the benefit of all.

Neil Carr, director at UK Electronics said: Upon deciding to step away from the business, it was extremely important to Ian and me to find a way to recognise the hard work and efforts of all the employees at UK Electronics who have been instrumental to its growth and success. We’ve long had a policy of training junior staff on the job and promoting from within so the move to employee ownership is not only a way of retaining all our staff but also a way to continue our market -leading legacy and values.  The new management team have the right skills to take the business forward.”

Ian Duckworth, also a director, said “It seems appropriate that in UK Electronics’ 40th year and 20 years after we acquired the company, we have made this important change.  The great thing about employee ownership is that our valuable customers and suppliers will not notice any difference in the short term because our dedicated employees will still be providing the same high-quality service.  In the long term we expect the move to employee ownership will help the business to get even better, which was a key attraction to us of the employee ownership model.” 

Neil and Ian will remain involved in the business as directors, with Martin Ainsworth taking over from Neil as Managing Director, Caroline Newton as Supply Chain Director, and Philip Knapton taking over from Ian as Finance Director.

National law firm TLT provided legal advice, led by Douglas Roberts and Nimarta Cheema, with Holly Bedford and Dominic Lay of K3 Tax Advisory advising on tax matters and corporate finance support from Stuart Lees and Susan Lees of Signia Corporate Finance. 

An employee ownership trust owns shares in a company on behalf of the employees and were introduced into the UK in 2014.  Employee ownership has many benefits for the employees, company, selling shareholders and local economy.  According to the Employee Ownership Association’s Knowledge Programme 2023 the number of employee-owned businesses in the UK reached 1,300 in December 2022, more than doubling in the last three years.