Handy Brand moves to an employee ownership structure

Handy Brand, a South West-based printing company with an exceptional reputation for high quality products and customer service, has announced the completion of an Employee Ownership Trust scheme that will see its employees own a majority share of the business, in a deal advised on by the GS Verde Group.


The deal comes as Handy Brand has seen outstanding growth, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, increasing its order volume by 40% between 2020 and 2021, proudly supplying hand sanitiser labels to businesses who wished to keep their customers safe, and donating labels to the NHS, supporting key workers.


Staff will now share a 51% stake in the business, providing them with day-to-day benefits and financial incentives, with Handy Brand seeing the value of its employees, their individual talents and what they achieve collectively. A trust scheme like this is not common with such a small team, giving the employees at Handy Brand a tremendous opportunity to share in its success.


Owner of Handy Brand, Martyn Kilford, explained: “Being a small, close-knit team gives us a big advantage over our competitors. Each team member is an integral cog in the Handy Brand machine.


“We’re all very passionate about achieving the best within our job roles day in and day out. We strive to offer the best advice to all our customers regardless of the size of their order to ensure they receive a quality printed product.”


Since its birth in 2007, Handy Labels, the sticky label part of Handy Brand, has printed custom labels for over 63,000 loyal returning customers. Its sister company Handy Tags produces retail swing tags, bottleneck tags and door hangers. Since it was founded in 2011, when Martyn spotted a gap in the market, Handy Tags has had an unrivalled customer retention rate, serving both small artisan industry customers and international brands alike with its market-leading range of products.


Handy Labels and Handy Tags offer small minimum order quantities, excellent print quality, all at competitive prices, and fast turnaround times. This allows them to facilitate orders for small businesses and startups and larger orders for some of the most prominent producers in their respective industries.


The move to a more employee-central structure is positive for the company as a whole. Team members are encouraged to be involved in the company’s growth and strive for brand consistency, brand development and brand loyalty.


Martyn continued: “Without our excellent team members and loyal customers, Handy Brand’s success would be nowhere near what it is today. That’s why I decided to set up the Employee Ownership Trust scheme, to show my huge appreciation for their unwavering professionalism and empower their future development for many years to come.”


The EOT structure also allows Handy Brand to appoint a board of trustees, with staff deciding if they want to join the board. This opportunity allows staff members to collectively make decisions on the daily running of the business and how they should allocate funds.


As Handy Brand moves into this new exciting chapter, it looks to keep its employee-centric setup, allowing its staff to share in the company’s successes.


Dealmaking experts the GS Verde Group advised and supported throughout the transaction.