AN Aberdeen-based firm that has refurbished thousands of drill bits used by North Sea oil and gas firms has moved into employee ownership.

The six employees of Tricore were given the opportunity to buy the firm following the death of Greg Henderson, who founded the business in 1987 with Bill Bowie.

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Operations manager Wallace Hay said the move into employee ownership allowed equity to be released to Mr Henderson’s estate and Mr Bowie to retire while ensuring the future security of the company and safeguarding jobs.

“It protects the ethos of the company and the existing team as well as providing a satisfactory solution for the previous owners,” said Mr Hay.

He added: “Many employees have been with us for over 20 years and have played a vital role in the growth and success of Tricore.”

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Co-operative Development Scotland provided support with the transition to employee ownership. The organisation reckons there are now around 110 employee-owned companies operating in Scotland, with in the region of 7,500 employee-owners in total.

The Auchrannie resort and spa on the Isle of Arran made the transition into employee ownership in January 2018, when a deal was struck by the Johnston family to transfer shares to its 160 staff.