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 Go Ape Adventure Forest
 New employee-owned company in the UK

Founders Rebecca and Tristram Mayhew announced on 23rd October 2021 that 90% of Go Ape shares will be transferred into an Employee Ownership Trust, for the benefit of all current and future employees. The remaining 10% of the business will be retained by Rebecca and Tristram.

Since founding Go Ape in 2002 the proudly independent company has experienced ‘tree-mendous’ growth. Nearly 20 years on they have built a multi-award winning forest adventure business with 35 locations across Britain. It welcomes over a million customers a year and employs a team of a thousand in the UK. Go Ape has also branched out across the pond, operating in 16 states in America.

Now what is the Go Ape new governance structure?

Before transferring the large majority of their shares into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) for the benefit of all employees, Go Ape’s founders wrote down a statement of ambition for the company going forward. This statement is recorded as "‘The Founders’ Wishes".

It is based upon the core values that shaped the direction and decision making of Go Ape’s first 20 years. 

More information with  The Founders' Wishes   

Press review
We have a selection of 29 remarkable articles in 8 countries in October 2021: France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, UK, USA.
France: NGE Group is majority owned by its founders, managers and employees. New employee share plan for Dassault Systèmes. In search of employee ownership in SMEs. Alkar is a large workers' cooperative in the Basque country.
Hungary: New ESOP plan for OTP Bank.
Italy: The "miscusi stock" distributes 5% of the company to employees. Campari: Turning point for employee share ownership, with the green light from unions coordination.
Netherlands: The 1,000 employees of Alfa Accountants own their company through a private foundation.
Norway: Kantega is 100% employee-owned.
Slovenia: Introducing ESOP-like plans in Slovenia.
UK: Every day a new SME is transferred to an Employee Ownership Trust as for instance this month: Christie Gillespie, DXW, The HR Dept, STB Graphic, Jee, Go Ape, Hollis, JF Plastics.
How does management continue to effectively run a company when it is owned by the employees?
USA: What Is an ESOP? How employee owned businesses flourished during the pandemic and continue to grow in popularity.

The full press review is available on:


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Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
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EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee share ownership and participation in Europe.