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RM2 helps Konditor & Cook transition to staff-ownership

Posted on December 19, 2016

Konditor & Cook staff celebrating

We are delighted to assist our clients, the made-to-order cake bakery and food retailer, Konditor & Cook, transform into an employee-owned business thanks to the bakery winning the prestigious £10,000 Investment Award from the Employee Ownership Association.

Konditor & Cook, whose mission is to bring joy through cake to all its customers, has a loyal fan base around the world, including Nigella Lawson, Tina Turner and The Rolling Stones. With RM2’s expertise, the prestigious award, sponsored by the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, will help the company safeguard its values, brands and assets when ownership is transferred to an employee trust by its founder, pastry chef Gerhard Jenne, or Konditor when he retires.

Paul Cons, CEO of Konditor & Cook, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to explore further our objective of becoming employee-owned. We’ve always been passionate about engaging our workforce, and we feel that our vision to create a 21st-century family cake business will be helped by a move to employee ownership, which offers us an exit strategy that more closely fits our values than the other options we have looked at.”

“We are delighted to support Konditor & Cook in its endeavours,” said RM2’s director Nigel Mason. “There are now excellent tax incentives available to encourage entrepreneurial companies like Konditor & Cook to look seriously at employee ownership as a succession planning solution for retiring business owners. This investment award will give them even more encouragement!”

The judges were excited about the company's plan to use the award to communicate the transition to employees and were impressed by the company’s support of the local communities in which it operates. The RM2 Partnership will help the company identify and set up an employee share ownership model that will engage the staff and ensure an orderly transition to employee ownership over the coming years.

“The founders want to give something back to the employees who work so hard, as well as keep the uniqueness and special quality of the business,” explained Paul. “Some of the more traditional options were considered, including venture capital and a trade sale, but none of them clicked with the company’s mission of joy. We really liked the way the John Lewis Partnership worked, and it fitted well with the Kondor & Cook brand and the hard work that goes into making it so special.”

The EOA Investment Award is open to any entrepreneur who is about to create an employee-owned business – whether as a start-up enterprise or through the conversion of an existing business. Of particular interest to the judges are those companies that are developing highly productive, profitable, ethical and long-term businesses that engage their employees and invest in their communities.

Deb Oxley, CEO of EOA said: “At a time when the government is talking about more employee involvement in businesses, better corporate governance and a better way of doing business that benefits everyone, this is a prime example of a great British brand that is not just about profit but also about what it brings to its customers, community and staff”. 

 
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