Auchrannie resort on the Isle of Arran has announced that the current shareholders have agreed to transfer their shares to an Employee Ownership Trust.
Established by Iain and Linda Johnston in 1988, Auchrannie remains under the ownership of the Johnston family. It currently comprises of two four-star hotels, 30 five-star self-catering lodges, two leisure clubs, three individually-branded restaurants, children’s Playbarn, The ASPA destination spa and Arran Adventure outdoor company.
The business has an annual turnover of £7.3 million and supports a workforce of 160.
Over the years, many lucrative acquisition offers for Auchrannie have been turned down in order to “protect the ethos of the company, the team and to safeguard community use of Auchrannie’s facilities for future generations.” By transferring their shares to an Employee Ownership Trust, the current shareholders said they believe that they will “protect Auchrannie’s contribution to its team and the island; they are also determined that the resort continue to be operated in accordance with Auchrannie’s values.”
Mrs Johnston, co-founder and managing director of Auchrannie Resort, said:
“Employee ownership will give the whole Auchrannie team a stake in the continued growth of the business and protect the ethos and values shared by everyone who works at Auchrannie.”
Mrs Johnston and the rest of the Auchrannie team will remain in place and the day-to-day management and operation of the business will not change.
Welcoming the move, Kenneth Gibson said:
“It is a tribute to the Johnston family that whilst they could have made millions from the sale of Auchrannie they have put the island, their employees and customers first.
“Auchrannie is a jewel in Arran’s crown and I’m sure that it will continue to be so, thanks to this far-sighted decision.”
Team members will be involved in the transition process, giving them a stake in developing and growing the business for the future. After the transfer is complete, the business will be controlled by an Employee Ownership Trust which will include team members.
The transition to employee ownership is being supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Co-operative Development Scotland and Co-ownership Solutions LLP who have assisted businesses to transition to employee ownership for over six years is managing the process. The transfer is expected to be completed by April 2017.