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Kudos Records becomes an employee owned enterprise

By | Published on Tuesday 7 February 2023

Kudos Records

Music distributor and label services company Kudos Records has announced that it has become a 100% employee owned enterprise.

That means, Kudos explains, that “the entire share capital has now been sold to a newly-formed employee ownership trust. As beneficiaries of that trust, each employee automatically becomes a co-owner in the business. As well as immediately benefiting from profit distributions, employees also have more input into the running of the company”.

“Employee ownership is one of the fastest growing business succession solutions in the UK”, the music firm adds. “There are now more than 1000 employee-owned businesses, with the sector more than doubling in the past three years”.

That growth is partly because of moves in the last decade by the UK government, which introduced a framework and some tax benefits for employee ownership trusts back in 2014.

Kudos founder Danny Ryan, who will remain with the company as MD for at least the next five years, adds: “Kudos Records has always been committed to fostering a culture of ownership and engagement among its employees. This transition to employee ownership will further align the interests of employees with those of the business”.

Alluding to recent consolidation in the music distribution sector, which has included all three majors buying up or into previously independent distributors, Ryan continues: “I’ve also always attached great importance to having a genuinely independent distribution option for record labels. In this era of consolidation, employee ownership secures Kudos’s future as a truly independent music company”.

Also commenting on the move to employee ownership, Ben Morris – a Label Manager and now Employee Trustee at the company – adds: “Kudos has always had a collaborative working environment and we aim to build on that as we enter this new chapter so that all employees will feel they have a voice in the direction of the company and a stake in its future”.

The move at Kudos was also welcomed by the CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, James De Le Vingne, who says: “We congratulate our members Kudos Records Limited on its transition to employee ownership; securing the ethos, values and culture of the business, as well as rooting jobs in Kudos”.

“Businesses that give employees a stake and a say build trust and shared responsibility”, he goes on, “uniting leaders and employees behind a common purpose, and leaving businesses in a better position to flex and adapt”.