One year after establishing our employee owned cooperative, the economy started to improve. Before this, a significant rationalisation had occurred throughout Australian manufacturing. Companies either re-invented themselves or closed their doors, but even as economic conditions looked brighter, profit margins were still very tight.
Trying to value a business that had taken the better part of two generations to create and build was a challenge. As business owners, we were overly influenced by our personal histories, our sacrifices and the memories that had taken over half a century to accumulate. We had initially hoped that placing the business for sale on the open market would automatically produce a fair and equitable result for both buyer and seller. Unfortunately, this was not the case; we found to our horror that no one wanted to buy!
In the absence of a sale, our protracted and tortuous succession process had finally come to a conclusion. We had transferred full ownership to our employees … Read more