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Restek lays new foundations with transfer to employee ownership

Restek worked with Napthens Solicitors and Benchmark International on the move

Ripley-based specialist maintenance company Restek is set to join the growing number of employee-owned businesses across the UK, as it announced its 14 permanent team members would be taking a stake in the business.

Founded in 2013, Restek provides a range of services including concrete structural repairs, composite strengthening, ground remediation and geotechnical solutions through the use of innovative materials, specialist products and techniques.

With an increase in revenue of more than 500 per cent in the past five years, the business has quickly grown to be a market leader in ground engineering, having worked with numerous local authorities and blue-chip companies including Network Rail, Barclays and Highways England.

Tim Knight, managing director and founder of the business, had engaged Benchmark International to consider the future options for the company, and having turned down a number of offers for the business, enlisted the support of Napthens to form an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) that holds 100 per cent of the shares on behalf of the company’s employees.

Tim Knight, managing director at Restek, said: “Since incorporating the business, I always had the intention of stepping away, and following consultation with Benchmark and Napthens, I decided that employee ownership was the best fit. Growing revenue every single year, Restek has now been involved with a catalogue of exciting, high-profile schemes, quickly cementing ourselves as a leaders in our field.

“Our continued expansion hasn’t gone unnoticed and selling to a competitor or investor was an option, but I was concerned that a third party would not act in best interests of the business and the team, some of which have been with me for more than seven years. This way, I can hand over the business gradually and ensure that it remains on track to fulfil its significant potential and stays true to its core values. Napthens and Benchmark have been great to work with, they have provided clear and insightful advice throughout this process.

Keith Melling, partner and head of commercial at Napthens, said: “Restek is a real success story, it has seen consistent organic growth year-on-year since 2013 and is now a multi-million-pound business. Tim has a clear passion for his staff, as well as for the firm and its longevity, making employee ownership the best option for all parties.

“As Tim gradually steps away over the next few years, high-level and day-to-day decision making will be at the greater discretion of the team, ensuring a smooth transition for clients and the new owners alike. I would encourage any business owner considering an exit strategy to explore whether a similar model could work for them, as employee ownership continues to grow in popularity.”

Advising on the transition, Jonny Parkinson, director at Benchmark International said: “Following our extensive research and marketing campaign, it became clear that Restek was going to attract a lot of interest from external parties. After assessing all the options and considering offers from trade and financial buyers, it became clear that an EOT was the best way to move forward and we have been able to devise a structure that meets everyone’s objectives. We wish Tim and Restek’s new management team all the best for the future.”