68 year-old Fife contractor T&N Gilmartin becomes employee-owned

17th May 2024

Fife based multi-disciplined contractor T&N Gilmartin (Contractors) Ltd has become the latest company in Scotland to transfer its entire shareholding to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The workforce of around 90 staff will become part owners of the business. There are now nearly 200 EOTs trading in Scotland – a marked increase during the last decade.

Founded in 1956 by Tommie Gilmartin Snr, T&N Gilmartin (Contractors) Ltd has remained within the Gilmartin family for three generations. Under former MD Tommy Gilmartin and fellow shareholder Pat Gilmartin, the company diversified and grew into a successful multi-disciplined contractor and a key employer in North-East Fife.

Current shareholders Philip and Donna McElhinney acquired the company in 2016 having previously worked in the family business for many years.

Managing Director Philip McElhinney says, “The success of our company is down to the hard work and dedication of our loyal workforce. We have been able to build upon the solid foundations established by previous generations of family and work colleagues to ensure the company continues to prosper in the long term. In planning for the future, it was important to us that the core values of the company remain. A sale to a third party was an option, however we felt it was not in the best interests of our workforce. The move to employee ownership secures the long-term future of the business and the employment it provides.”

Philip McElhinney added: “Donna and I shall continue in our roles for the short term in support of the new leadership team, however we know the company is in very good hands. It is our intention to fully stand aside, and we look forward to watching the next exciting chapter in the company’s development.”

Graham Cunning, Head of Corporate Finance in Scotland with accountancy firm Azets, which has been managing the transaction said: ““Azets are delighted to have worked with the shareholders of T & N Gilmartin to guide them towards Employee Ownership. It has been great working with Donna & Philip helping them bring their succession plan to fruition and supporting them take the next step for this great family business. We wish them, and all the employees all the best in continuing to grow the business from strength to strength.”

The Azets team included Corporate Finance Executive Christine Rankin, Corporate Tax Partner Katy Thomson & Associate Angus Troop.

Carole Leslie of Ownership Associates has provided specialist employee ownership support, with legal advice provided by TLT Solicitors (Douglas Roberts & Nimarta Cheema).

Douglas Roberts, Corporate partner at TLT, commented “It was an honour to play our small part in T&N Gilmartin’s transition to employee ownership and to assist Donna and Philip in achieving their plans for the business. The company has a long history, and its fantastic reputation will continue to grow with employee ownership. Congratulations to all at T&N Gilmartin”.

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