Speyside company announce employee ownership move

Fochabers based Muirton Controls and Automation is now owned by its employees.

November 9, 2023

The company specialises in the distillery sector, with a client list that reads like the Who’s Who of the whisky industry. Muirton also provide electrical contractor services to a varied range of customers across the industrial, commercial, agricultural and domestic sectors.

The company was founded by Ewen McDonald in 2011 and has built up a solid reputation for providing electrical and control services across the distilling, industrial and commercial sectors building an enviable loyal customer base and relationships with many of the industry’s top suppliers in the UK and beyond.  With the motto “Using simplicity to control complexity”, Muirton works closely with customers to fully understand what is required and identify and implement the optimal solution.

Ewen McDonald believes that the Muirton team are the best in the sector.  He says, “The success of Muirton is largely down to the mix of talent and loyalty in the company.  Every one of our employees is important, and every one of them is an ambassador for Muirton Controls and Automation.  When I came to think about my succession options, my first priority was to protect the employment of the team. Most employees have been with the company since joining as apprentices. Another prime consideration was to ensure that our customers would receive continuity and expert attention and support at time.  I believe employee ownership will deliver on both counts.”

He continues, “Our employees have always played a large part in the success of the company, our apprentices are never far from the top apprentice spot at the local colleges. Indeed, they have been top at Moray and Banff & Buchan in the past, just lately also winning the SELECT top apprentice in Scotland award. A major factor in allowing the company to grow and develop has been the hard work, growth and development of our employees. I feel it is appropriate that the future of the company should rest in the hands of these same people rather than any third party. To that end Muirton Control & Automation Ltd is now wholly owned by an Employee Ownership Trust.”

The news was received very positively by both employees and customers.

Ewen plans to gradually reduce his time in the business over the next 5 – 10 years , handing over to the competent management team.  Indeed, Ewen’s email signature contains the description: “My aim is to become purely decorative rather than indispensable” !

The transaction was supported by Thorntons Law and Ownership Associates.