European law firm Fieldfisher has advised Office for Public Management Limited (OPM Group) on an investment of £300,000 in it by Capital for Colleagues plc (C4C) - an investment which will be used to develop infrastructure, as well as for working capital.
OPM Group is an independent employee-owned research and consultancy organisation. It comprises two businesses: the Office for Public Management, established in 1989 as the UK's first employee-owned public interest company and which had been owned by an employee trust since 1994; and Dialogue by Design, a specialist consultation, planning and analysis service. C4C is an investment vehicle focused on opportunities in the employee ownership sector.
In addition to a loan, C4C subscribed for a new class of ordinary shares in OPM Group, so as to maintain ownership by the OPM Employee Share Ownership Trust (the OPM Trust) of 100% of the existing ordinary shares in OPM Group. Fieldfisher's advice included establishing a corporate trustee for the OPM Group Trust and other measures to update OPM Group's employee trust structure.
The Fieldfisher team comprised partners Graeme Nuttall OBE, Neil Palmer and Oliver Abel Smith, senior associate Jennifer Martin and assistant solicitors Tanja Maley and Igor Stermsek.
Peter Holland, chief executive officer of OPM Group, said: "I am excited to announce our partnership with Capital for Colleagues. Their investment will help us grow while we continue to support the delivery of social impact and help people have a voice."
Graeme Nuttall OBE, partner at Fieldfisher, said: "C4C's investment in OPM Group is an important demonstration of the flexibility of the trust model of employee ownership. It is unusual for a 100% employee trust owned company to dilute its ownership by accepting equity investment. In what was a first time for C4C, and probably for the EO sector, this innovative investment in OPM Group was made in a new class of ordinary shares that maintained the status of The OPM Employee Share Ownership Trust as an employee-ownership trust, with a controlling interest in the OPM Group."
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