In July 2019, Blizzard became Employee Owned. Trading since 2008, Blizzard has built up a strong partner base distributing a range of products and services including voice, data, mobile, IT and energy. With group turnover having reached £8 million, the business began to attract a number of competitors with a view to purchase.
Founders Mark Jones and Martin Turner had been considering long-term options for the business. Both with over 30 years’ experience in the channel, they had seen many transactions often result in disappointing outcomes for owners, employees and partners. They did not want this to be the case with Blizzard, so began to explore better alternatives.
Employee Ownership (not to be confused with management buyout) to date is not a common exit option, less than 500 companies have taken this approach so far. In July 2019, the founders placed 75% of the business into Employee Ownership, which is run through a trust whereby all members share benefits equally.
Employee Ownership offers
Confidence, security and trust
A commitment to the longer term
A fully engaged and committed workforce
A clear shared purpose and collaborative way of working
The preservation of the business and its values following ownership succession
Mark Jones said “Over the past year, we have promoted a number of employees to senior positions in the business as part of the succession plan. In most cases, these employees have been with us since we first started and have helped Blizzard get to where it is today. As owners, Martin and I are now increasingly stepping back from day-to-day duties, but remain present to guide our successors in the ongoing growth of the company, delivering the confidence in the future that our staff and channel partners deserve.”
Employee Ownership representative Emma Linsell says, “since becoming Employee Owned, all staff have taken on board that we truly are the owners of the business. We are fully invested in the business goals and incentivised more than ever. As a collective, we know, and are proud of the fact that every win is a joint victory, where everyone is rewarded. Going forward, we are confident that the Employee Ownership model, with its collaborative approach, will support the ongoing success of Blizzard and our partners.”