Business owner hands over keys

A highly successful and globally renowned classic car restoration company in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, which last year turned over £5.2 million, has been given to the staff by its owner.

Classic Motor Cars Ltd employs more than 60 staff and has restored some of the world’s most important cars including many famous Jaguars.

The company has become an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), which means that the staff will own and run the business themselves.

Peter Neumark, who has owned and chaired the company since its inception in 1993, said, ‘I am nearer 70 than 60 and Nick Goldthorp, who founded this great business with me and has been largely responsible for where we are today, is now approaching retirement age, so we felt we had a duty to oversee a passing of responsibility, and who better than the workforce themselves.’

On Friday 26 August 2016, a majority shareholding owned by the chairman was transferred into a new entity The Classic Motor Cars Ltd Employee Shareholder Trust, thereby passing control to a trust set up for the benefit of the employees of CMC.

Peter Neumark added, ‘This sort of structure, best exemplified by the John Lewis Partnership, was deemed to be the best home for the company to ensure its future, safeguarding the jobs of its highly skilled workforce and providing stability for future growth and prosperity.

‘Virtually every example of an EOT business we looked at showed greater profitability, greater productivity, better staff retention and ultimately, of course, happier customers. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved and I look forward to watching the company continue to set the standards for world-class car restoration.’

The day-to-day management of the business will be controlled by an operational board, chaired by David Barzilay and comprising of managing director Tim Leese, production director Tim Griffin, non-execs Nick Goldthorp and Richard Charlesworth (latterly of Bentley).

They in turn will report to a board of trustees who are responsible for the good governance of the company and ensuring it is run in the best interests of its beneficiaries, the employees.