EO in 25 objects No.9 : AG Parfett

Founded in 1980, AG Parfett is an award winning, independent wholesale food distributor.  A family run firm for many years, when the time came to consider their succession options, the Parfetts felt the next generation of the family were not quite ready to take control of the business so began exploring the alternatives.

The Parfetts considered a management buyout, an initial public offering (IPO) and selling the business to a competitor, but dismissed all these options because of their potentially damaging effect on staff.   This led them to employee ownership, which Steve Parfett was familiar with having trained as a graduate with Waitrose.  They have been 100% employee owned since 2008.  The company is owned in trust for the 550 employees.  Parfett is listed amongst the top 50 employee owned companies in the UK.

“All the ownership is one trust, one pool for the employees’ benefit… the benefit is in the way the business is run, the ability to have their say and receive an annual bonus… Certainly, lots of our employees show more interest and care more.” – Steve Parfett