Cheshire based B2B PR and communications agency Skout has announced it has become 100% employee owned to secure its long-term independence and achieve its growth ambitions of £3million revenue in the next five years.
The decision to establish an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is Skout’s pledge to prioritise its team’s career development, and the succession and business direction of the agency. Skout’s leadership team believe that employee satisfaction and purpose are pivotal to being an exemplary long-term B2B partner to clients.
The EOT has acquired a 100% controlling interest in the business from founder Rob Skinner and director Claire Lamb who will continue to serve as the management team for the foreseeable future. The Trust will oversee the business, acting as a guardian of Skout’s values and culture and ensure its direction remains in the employees’ best interests. Employee ownership does not change Skout’s focus, it is business as usual.
Skout founder and MD, Rob Skinner, said, “We’re delighted to be able to finally announce our plans. Over our 13-year history we have focused on making B2B communications more relevant and authentic for our clients. Looking ahead to our future, we want to set the bar even higher and believe this new chapter will provide the impetus required.”
Skout director, Claire Lamb, said, “Much of the success Skout has enjoyed is down to the commitment of our brilliant team and we want to recognise and reward that. They live and breathe Skout’s values and as we transition to employee ownership, we’re not only giving them true ownership, but also securing our future and continuing to work towards being one of the best agencies to work for in the UK.”
Skout has been supported through the process by the specialist employee ownership consultancy, Baxendale, as well as Cactus, Europe's leading corporate advisory and growth consultancy for agencies.
Simon Everingham, Skout’s EOT manager at Baxendale, commented, “We're proud to have advised and supported Skout in their transition to employee ownership – a move which secures the independence of the business for the future. It was a real priority for Rob and Claire, and the entire Skout team, that any transition in ownership protected the ethos, values and identity of the business going forward, which is exactly what their sale to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) enables.
“Majority EOT ownership means the shares are held in trust for the benefit of current and future employees, meaning that all the employees of Skout have a real stake in the business and its future. It has been a pleasure working with the Skout team, and we look forward to them going from strength to strength with their new ownership model.”
Mark Probert, managing partner, Cactus said, "As board advisers to Skout it's been a pleasure to help Rob and Claire through the process of realising their ambition to become an employee led agency. It's clear that the wellbeing and development of both the team and their clients is at the forefront of what Skout stands for. This next phase of the business is going to be exciting to be part of, with some new initiatives ready to be launched soon."