3i Group has sold its 12.6% stake in TTP Group PLC back to the company for an undisclosed amount. TTP is a European technology, product development and incubation company.
TTP Group plc announced today that it had bought back the 12.6% interest in the company owned by the venture capital company 3i plc for an undisclosed sum. The shares will be transferred to its Employee Share Ownership Plan.
TTP’s CEO Peter Taylor said, “We are pleased to be able to purchase these shares to help fulfil our commitment to keeping the company controlled by its employees. This has been a key reason why TTP has been so successful since its inception 21 years ago when it was predominantly funded with founder employees’ own capital.”
TTP was founded at the end of 1987 – during the recession – and has grown over the years entirely financed from retained profits, after some initial external equity investments were arranged in 1988. The majority of shares are held by present and former employees. The current deal increases the shareholding of its ESOP trust to 17%. It plans to use the income the trust received from its shareholding to enhance the broad share ownership of current and future employees, by providing a more active and liquid share market. Since the company first achieved profitability, it has used 15% of its profits to pay bonuses and provide free shares to its staff.
Interestingly, in the current debate about company bonuses, the company points to its policy in this regard which caps bonuses for the highest earners and protects the lowest earners with a floor. “We have always attempted to ensure that all of our employees have a real incentive to contribute to the long term sustainable success of the company”, says Taylor. “If employees want to share even more in the success of the company, they can purchase additional shares in the internal market. If employees want to buy shares we assist them with a payroll-based savings plan. We also offer beneficial loans.”
Taylor concluded, “We firmly believe that the future for our company includes facilitating the transfer of broad ownership of the company from one generation of employees to the next, so that they too can share in the success of the company. This purchase increases the percentage of the company owned by employees past and present, together with the ESOP, to about 89% and will strengthen the ESOP’s ability to act as a facilitator in our internal share market.
About TTP Group plc
TTP Group plc is Europe’s leading independent technology, product development and incubation company and its primary objective is to create new business based on advances in technology. It is the holding company for The Technology Partnership plc, TTP LabTech Ltd, TTP Venture Managers Ltd, Melbourn Science Park Ltd, and Tonejet Ltd. The company, established in 1987, is headquartered on Melbourn Science Park (near Cambridge, UK) and employs about 300 staff, the majority of whom are scientists and engineers.
For more information visit www.ttpgroup.com.