A controlling stake in the holding company of a Birmingham-based IT solutions provider has been sold to an employee ownership trust in a deal led by the transactions tax team at PKF Smith Cooper. 

The completion marks the team’s second EOT transaction within the technology sector in the past three months.

Port-P was co-founded by Mark Paget in 1994, with Aaron Harte joining shortly afterwards. The company provides both cloud-based and on-prem IT solutions, boasting an array of household name clients located across the length of the UK.

The EOT concept was born out of a government-backed initiative, designed to promote employee ownership, by giving all employees the opportunity to hold a significant and meaningful indirect stake in the business, including having a say in how things are run.

The PKF team was led by Tax Partner Adam Rollason, who provided tax structuring advice on the deal and sell-side tax support to the selling shareholders.

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“I am delighted to have been able to help Mark and Aaron achieve their collective vision for the future of the company. I have no doubt that the business will continue to flourish under the new ownership structure and I am excited to follow their journey,” said Rollason.

“Whilst employee ownership will not work for every business, it is clearly becoming more prevalent in the tech sector. This is the second EOT transaction which we have completed in three months, and we are continuing to meet similar businesses that are considering employee ownership as a genuine succession planning option.”

Paget commented: “In the year in which we celebrate our 30th birthday, it seems fitting to take the first step in the next stage of our journey. The business has been built on the foundations of our incredible team and it feels amazing to recognise and reward them all in transitioning towards full employee ownership.

“The specialist support and guidance provided by the team at PKF Smith Cooper was invaluable in getting the transaction completed within our desired timeframe and we thank them for all of their efforts over the last four months.”

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