Staff at communications VAR Azzurri will all receive a share of a £3.5m payout following the firm’s sale earlier in the year.
Azzurri was acquired by PPM Capital, the private equity arm of Prudential, for £182.5m (CRN, 12 June). The firm has a Employee Share Trust scheme, meaning 800 employees will receive cheques ranging from £300 to £20,000.
Martin St. Quinton, chief executive of Azzurri, told CRN: “I set up the scheme when I formed the company with the aim of rewarding every employee if we did well. We truly believe that everyone in the company deserves a share of the windfall following the sale, not just the senior management team.
“We put 2.5 per cent of the company into a trust fund when we established. When we were sold this was worth £3.5m.”
St. Quinton added that the windfall will be shared between all 800 of Azzurri's workers, with longer serving employees getting a larger amount. Staff that are already shareholders are not eligible for the windfall.
“We have now started a new Employee Share Trust scheme and allocated shares to all employees so that they will receive another payout if Azzurri is sold again in the future,” St. Quinton said.
Regarding any possible upcoming acquisition, St. Quinton told CRN: “Our acquisition department has re-opened for business and we are on the look-out for UK businesses in the voice and data market. We would hope to complete an acquisition before Christmas.”
Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at research firm EuroLAN, said that it is rare for channel firms to run such schemes.
“The 2.5 per cent will not be missed by a company and it is appreciated by staff, so it is a good incentive,” he said. “It will also help with staff retention.”
Humphreys added that a lot of firms do not provide employee share schemes because of specific share rules and regulations.
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