The ownership of Quintessa has been transferred from its existing employee shareholders to the Quintessa Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), which now fully owns the company on behalf of all employees.

The EOT has been entrusted with preserving the employee-ownership ethos that has grown at Quintessa over the 15 years since it was established. The purpose of this change is to provide a sustainable future for Quintessa as an independent employee-owned and employee-run company.

Quintessa celebrates the fact that our principal assets are talented staff with leading edge expertise in their chosen fields and a passion for problem solving. The EOT provides a mechanism for all employees to share in the ownership of the company and to continue to contribute to strategic and operational decisions.

The Founder and former major shareholder of Quintessa, David Hodgkinson said:

"The EOT business model is good for our business and good for many other businesses. As members of the Employee Ownership Association we are long-time supporters of employee ownership. We have worked towards adopting the trust model of employee ownership for several years and the new favourable tax regime for EOTs provided the final encouragement for the shareholders to sell to an EOT. We are delighted to have secured the future of the business in this way. Independence and longevity is key to delivering the service our clients want and the EOT business model is a perfect fit for our business."

Quintessa is among the first companies to switch to the new employee-ownership trust (EOT) business model following the more favourable tax treatment introduced in the Finance Act 2014 that received Royal Assent on 17 July 2014, and Quintessa's transition has been supported by Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to HM Treasury.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to HM Treasury, said:

"This is incredibly welcome news. The Employee Ownership model not only gives workers a stake – and a voice – in the companies that employ them. It also allows them to benefit from their success. The Government has worked hard over the last four years to create a legal and tax environment that encourages more companies to set up in this way. I’m delighted that Quintessa are doing so."

Quintessa was advised by Fieldfisher led by Graeme Nuttall OBE, Head of Fieldfisher's Mutual and Employee Ownership team, and by Crowe Clark Whitehill in Reading led by Partner Ian Dale.

Fieldfisher Partner, Graeme Nuttall OBE said:

"One of the key recommendations of the Nuttall Review was to promote the trust model of employee ownership. The Coalition Government has wholeheartedly supported this recommendation particularly with the new tax exemptions for employee ownership trusts. Individuals selling a controlling interest to an EOT pay no capital gains tax. Employees in an EOT controlled business can receive income tax free bonuses up to £3,600 per tax year. This is why a sale to an employee trust provides a perfect succession solution. The shareholders in Quintessa saw immediately that control by an EOT was right for securing the long term future of their business in the best interests of its employees and clients."

Crowe Clarke Whitehill Partner, Ian Dale said:

"We have worked closely with Quintessa Limited since David Hodgkinson founded the company in 1999. It is fantastic to see the company's long term plans coming to fruition assisted by the recently introduced favourable tax treatment for EOT's."

July 2014