Long established timber garden buildings specialist and Direct Commerce Award winner Woodlands Home & Garden Group has opted to move into employee ownership via the formation of a new employee ownership trust.
The deal sees all directors and plus over 160 employees continuing in their roles at the 110 year old business which operates with four brands: Woodlands Garden Spaces, Woodlands Timber, Woodlands DIY Superstore, and its direct-to-consumer brand TigerSheds.com. The business acknowledges that it has been challenging for the garden building sector throughout 2022 following the period of explosive growth driven by the pandemic lockdowns but says that its award-winning Tiger brand bucked the trend to achieve sales growth of more than 15 per cent year on year.
Ross Moran, CEO, Woodlands said: “There has been a huge amount of interest in this sector over the last two years, and as one of the established market leaders, Woodlands has received a number of offers of investment or, in some cases, offers to take a controlling interest in the business. Whilst this is extremely flattering, it comes at a time when the company is still part-way through our brand journey, and we are acutely aware of how important it is for such an historic business to be very selective with regard to strategic partnerships. Instead, we have used this period to assess all of the growth options available to the business and we felt that the employee ownership trust model was perfect for us.
“It is a long-term deal designed to provide stability and a defined succession framework, but effectively on a day-to-day basis it will be business as usual,” added Moran.