Forgemasters shares snapped up

Sheffield Forgemasters International staff has shown an overwhelming confidence in their company by snapping up discounted shares in the business.

Demand for the shares, representing a 30 per cent stake in the company and offered to the employees at half the most recent market valuation, far exceeded expectation, with two-thirds of the 700-strong workforce buying them.

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.

Pedder said: ‘This is a very dynamic period for Sheffield Forgemasters. The company is winning some of the largest contracts in its history, including a £60m deal over 10 years to supply Germany with casks required to transport and store waste from its nuclear power stations.’