Highland Fuels tanker

An employee takeover of the Scottish company Highland Fuels has been completed with the transfer of a majority of its shares to its employees.

The company operates 11 depots across Scotland and has a commercial reach into the north of England. It has a fleet of more than 45 road tankers, owns 16 petrol stations and has over 250 employees spread between its most southerly office in Manchester and its most northerly office in Lerwick, Shetland.

Chairman and owner George Shand previously led a management buyout of Highland Fuels in 2001 which was built around ensuring that the company remained in local hands.

He said he had been considering the future of the company and was always been mindful of the loyalty of the staff and the company’s roots in the north of Scotland.

He added: “We’re proud of being different. We’re a Highland-based company with a very wide reach. We live our values.”

Shand, working with his fellow directors, was keen to find a business model that preserved the company’s heritage and maintained continuity of operations and employment for the long term.

Employee ownership was identified as the best solution as it enabled the core values and the purpose of the company to remain, while also further empowering the team to drive the company’s growth plans into the future.

Managing director Stephen Rhodes added: “Employee ownership is perfect for us. It truly enables every single employee to benefit from the company’s advancement and provides the right platform for us to realise a positive culture, high engagement and great performances as we progress to the future.”