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FULL THROTTLE INTO EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP: 2EXCEL AVIATION’S EMPLOYEES CELEBRATE THEIR NEW OWNERSHIP STATUS

19th November 2018

In April 2018, 2Excel Aviation became 51 per cent employee owned. With the creation of an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), the company’s 160 employees became owners. 2Excel’s future is now in the hands of the employees as the company leads the way as the first, and only, employee owned company within the UK aviation industry.

Read our FEATURE to find out more…

Founded in 2005, and equipped with a National Air Operators Certificate, former Royal Air Force pilots, Andy Offer and Chris Norton, along with founding director, Harant Singh, launch 2Excel Aviation, delivering innovative and bespoke solutions to the aviation industry. Thirteen years on, and worth an estimated £75 million, 2Excel now employs over 160 staff across multiple sites and operates over 30 aircraft on a global scale.

2Excel’s story is unique and compelling; it is a company which has grown from six people and four aircraft to a multi-faceted company which now has seven business units operating under the parent company’s canopy. From flying fare-paying passengers in The Blades aerobatic Extra 300s, to tackling oil spills across the globe using T2’s bespoke B727s, and chartering luxury Boeing 737s for Broadsword’s VIP clients, 2Excel’s capability continues to diversify and grow.

The company’s original shareholders, who are still the company’s directors, made a momentous change to the culture of the business when 2Excel Holdings Ltd became 51 per cent employee owned – and became the first, and only, aviation company in Britain to take employee ownership status.

The company’s founding directors sold their shares to its employees using an Employee Ownership Trust. An EOT, which is a government backed scheme, was chosen because it presented itself as the most efficient way for everyone to benefit from company growth.  The 2Excel EOT will reward, retain and incentivise 2Excel’s workforce to ensure a long and prosperous future.

Speaking about this inspiring leap forward, Andy Offer OBE, 2Excel Director said: ‘‘2Excel has seen continued growth and despite challenges brought on by the financial crash, the company stayed strong and survived – largely through diversification, offering customers bespoke solutions to challenging projects, and a great work ethic from our world-class team of exceptional people. The employees really care about the business – its success and the future – and the EOT aims to retain our people, incentivise and reward them. Ultimately, the EOT and its employees will protect the company’s values and reputation.’’

2Excel has ambitious growth plans and the target is to grow the company to at least double its current value over the next two to four years.

Andy continues: ‘‘Once our aim has been achieved, we will look at the next step of our journey, which may include floatation, sales of shares or refinancing – allowing everyone to benefit.’’

2Excel’s HR Manager, Louise Campbell, said: ‘‘Employee ownership is a model we are fully embracing.  Employee owned businesses benefit from higher staff engagement and better employee retention. Our employees are empowered to think and act like owners and they are already benefitting from the EOT.’’

The number of UK employee owned companies has accelerated, says Deb Oxley, Chief Executive of the EOA, said: “We are delighted that 2Excel has chosen to adopt an employee ownership model which will secure the businesses ethos, values and employees while rooting the jobs locally for the longer term.

“The employee owned sector contributes more than £30bn to the UK economy and is growing at more than 10% a year, with 70% growth in the sector happening since 2010 – this looks set to accelerate with all the UK political parties looking at ways for more employees to share in the wealth they help to create.

“In the recent Inquiry into the impact more employee ownership in the UK economy would have on social and economic issues, it found that businesses like 2Excel that chose to become employee and adopting the structures and culture, see benefits for the individual through being empowered and sharing a stake in the outcome, the businesses through increased performance and productivity both of which support a more resilient regional economy.”

Watch our Employee Ownership feature film to see our employees in action and learn more about what being an employee owner means to them.

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