Blake Morgan advise Emsworth Yacht Harbour on the creation of Employee Ownership Trust


Posted on 18th April 2024

Award winning Blake Morgan has advised on the transition of Emsworth Yacht Harbour (EYH) to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Blake Morgan advised on the transaction, which included a creation of the EOT and subsequent sale and purchase of a majority stake to the EOT in a move believed to make Emsworth Yacht Harbour the UK’s first employee-owned marina.

EYH has been in operation since 1965 and was acquired by the Wakelin family in the 1990s. Alison Wakelin has been Managing Director since 2006 and overseen significant growth. The family now hold 20 per cent of the shares and as part of the move, Tom Marfleet will become managing director and Alison will move to a non-executive director role. Alison commented:

As a family, we wanted to find a succession plan that would allow EYH to stay as an independent marina for the foreseeable future. Becoming an employee-owned business presented a perfect opportunity to safeguard the future of our community and allow us to continue to deliver a fantastic experience to our many loyal customers. We would like to thank Mat Wilson and the team at Blake Morgan for their expert advice and guidance throughout the process.

The Blake Morgan team were led by corporate partner, Mathew Wilson, with corporate colleagues Katie Newham and Rob Thomas assisting. Corporate consultant to Blake Morgan, David Daws has been appointed as the independent trustee to the EOT.  Menzies LLP provided tax advice to EYH.

Corporate Partner, Mat Wilson commented: “We are delighted to have advised Emsworth Yacht Harbour on this milestone deal for them. Working with Alison has been an absolute pleasure and I wish her, Tom and the team every success. EOTs are a fast growing form of business ownership and they can really help motivate employees to drive further growth and innovation. With an organisation’s people being key to the culture and success of its’ business, to enable the staff to be part of the long-term success of the organisation, involved in governance matters and to benefit from future profits can be empowering and rewarding.”

Blake Morgan have expertise in mergers and acquisitions, EOTs and more corporate services, which you can discover more about here.

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