Founder sells Aktuel Translations to employee ownership trust

Aktuel Translations, a United Kingdom-based company specializing in translation and localization services, was sold to an employee-owned trust earlier this month.

Founder and chairman Robin Bennett confirmed via Linkedin that he sold Aktuel Translations to an employee ownership trust on Friday, Sept. 23.

“At 11.48am today I hung up my hat by selling Aktuel Translations to an employee owned trust,” Bennett wrote in his post. “It brings to an end 30 years work on a project that started as a stop gap when my grandfather loaned me the money for an Amstrad computer and I thought I’d work for myself until the economy picked up.”

According to Aktuel Translations’ official website, Bennett founded the company in 1992 after graduating from the University of London with a degree in modern languages. He noted that Aktuel Translations has since grown into an internationally recognized entity within the language services industry, having had offices in the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United States. Just more than a decade after the company was founded, Who’s Who recognized the company as one of the fastest growing businesses in the UK in 2003.

An employee ownership trust is one of the main forms of employee ownership in the UK, wherein a business owner forms a trust, to which the company contributes cash in order to buy shares on behalf of the employees, either in the form of direct ownership of the shares or employee benefits. 

The John Lewis Partnership, the company that Bennett referenced in his Linkedin post, is a particularly well-known example of an employee ownership trust — with nearly 84,000 employees and more than £10 billion, it was named the largest employee-owned company in the UK in 2020. 

Bennett also noted that selling the company was a bit of a full circle moment. “I like the fact the deal today was signed only 5 minutes walk from where my grandfather lived and so where it all started,” he wrote.

Andrew Warner
Andrew Warner is a writer from Sacramento. He received his B.A. in linguistics and English from UCLA and is currently working toward an M.A. in applied linguistics at Columbia University. His writing has been published in Language Magazine, Sactown Magazine, and The Takeout.


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