Chris Bingham, group chairman (centre) with some of the Craggs Energy team.
Chris Bingham, group chairman (centre) with some of the Craggs Energy team.

West Yorkshire fuel supplier becomes employee-owned as it eyes future growth

A West Yorkshire fuel supplier has transferred ownership of its business to its 55 employees.

The directors of Craggs Energy Ltd, located in Hebden Bridge, and its sister company, Moorland Fuels Ltd, have transferred 100 per cent of shares in the businesses to their teams by establishing an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), funded by future profits.

Chris Bingham, group chairman said: “I’ve been considering the option of employee ownership for quite some time and when we looked into the benefits and alternatives available to us, an EOT was the obvious choice as it allows the existing shareholders to plan their exit over a longer term while transferring the benefits to the employees.

“As successful and ever-growing businesses, we could have sold to a third party, however, I place great value on my team and wanted to be able to reward the people who have grown the businesses to where they are today.

“As far as I am aware, we are the first fuel distribution companies in the UK to transfer 100 per cent of our ownership to an EOT. The response from our shareholders and our staff has been extremely positive and there has been an increase in productivity and motivation which I’m sure will help to drive future growth.

“There’s no doubt in my mind, that creating an employee-led business is a good thing, and it would be great to see more companies consider the EOT route rather than a traditional trade sale.”

The companies, both of which have been in operation for over ten years, have grown into significant players in the UK fuel industry, providing fuel delivery services and wider solutions to homes, farms and businesses.

Richard ‘Bert’ Ingram, HGV Tanker Driver at Craggs, commented: “I’ve been with Craggs for such a long time because it’s a great company to work for and it’s been good to see the company grow over the years.

“The announcement of the EOT reiterates why Craggs is such a fantastic employer, they reward their staff for hard work and eventually we will all reap the rewards.”

The directors were advised by the corporate finance teams at Leeds law firm Clarion and chartered accountants BHP.

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