Rochdale sustainable furniture manufacturer joins growing EOT community

Date published: 11 December 2023

Rochdale-based sustainable furniture manufacturer Crystal Doors has become an employee-owned business, in a deal supported by leading independent law firm Brabners.

Crystal Doors, which earlier this year became a certified B Corp, has transitioned to employee ownership through the establishment of a new Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) to preserve its culture and foster further sustainable growth.

The deal, which was led by Brabners’ specialist employee ownership team, will see managing director Richard Hagan retain an active role in the business. Founded in 1994, Crystal Doors manufactures and supplies vinyl wrapped doors and accessories for kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom retailers, using wood from sustainably managed forests.

The transition to employee ownership also maintains the carbon neutral business’ commitment to halving its total value chain emissions by 2030 as it targets reaching net zero across its operation before 2050.

The deal represents the 15th business Brabners has supported on the transition to employee ownership this year – its strongest year to date. The firm is home to one of the UK’s largest Employee Ownership advisory teams, led by partner Stephen Hadlow, and is also B Corp-certified.

Logros Advisory Partners provided corporate finance advice and Claritas Tax delivered tax advice on the deal.

Richard Hagan, managing director at Crystal Doors, said: “The success of Crystal Doors is owed to our people and the unparalleled culture we’ve built, so their wellbeing and participation in the future of the business is hugely important. Given our commitment to sustainable industry and a better future for the planet, becoming employee owned represents the perfect way to provide them with meaningful, shared ownership of the business.

“We’re really pleased to have been guided through the transition by Brabners as a fellow B Corp and a purpose-led business that shares in valuing people, planet and profit as measures of success.”

Stephen Hadlow, partner in the corporate team at Brabners, said: “We’re seeing more and more businesses adopt employee ownership given the benefits it brings in terms of inclusivity, engagement and growth – demonstrated by the high volume of EOT deals completed this year despite broader M&A activity slowing.

“The timing and evolution of Crystal Doors’ sustainability strategy has very much mirrored our own as a firm, so it’s a pleasure to have supported them through the process.”

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