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Employees take up chance to own shares

23 October 2007

Sheffield Forgemasters' employees have overwhelmingly leapt at the chance of owning shares in the historic company.

More than two-thirds of the company's 700-strong workforce has taken up the offer to buy shares - with the demand at three times the anticipated level.

Staff at the 200-year-old business were offered a share of a 30% stake in the company - generously presented by the management at 50% of their most recent valuation - 80p instead of £1.60 each.

SFIL chairman Tony Pedder said: "As a further demonstration of mutual commitment between the company's management and its employees, if one was needed after the fantastic response from the staff during recovery from Sheffield 's devastating June floods, this is in my view is outstanding.

"It also shows the level of confidence that the employees have in the business and its future despite having been so close to the brink only two short years ago.

"This response certainly makes the group board members even more aware of, and focused on, its responsibilities to its employees, most of whom are also now its shareholders."

Forgemasters met a two year promise to employees by giving them the opportunity to own a share of the company. Management at SFIL, led by chief executive Graham Honeyman, made the commitment when it completed a management buy-out (MBO) in 2005.