Cardinal becomes the world’s biggest employee-owned logistics firm

Manchester-born logistics services provider, Cardinal Global Logistics is marking 25 years in business by transitioning to an employee-ownership model – making the firm the biggest employee-owned company of its kind in the world.

Launched in Eccles in 1998 with a £15,000 business loan, Cardinal has since blossomed into an international firm with over 40 offices, 6,000 clients and revenues exceeding £500 million. It is now celebrating its quarter-century by creating an environment where every employee has the same opportunity to become a Partner.

The leading logistic services provider joins the growing number of national employee-owned businesses, with around 1,000 similar models currently operating in the UK today. Cardinal’s democratisation model means every member of staff now gets to share in the profits that the company generates each year.

In addition to financial benefits, employees will have input regarding the direction of the Cardinal Partnership, helping to shape its future with an increased sense of ownership over their roles in the business. The employee-owned nature of the business also means more open and transparent communication channels, as Partners have a direct stake in the overall success of the firm.

This move also represents an active effort to preserve the employee-first company culture Cardinal has worked hard to establish over the past 25 years, functioning as a powerful tool for creating a more engaged, motivated and innovative workforce, whilst benefiting the sustainability and viability of the business in the longer term.

The Cardinal Partnership merges two cherished brands, Far Logistics and Cardinal Global Logistics, and the group has earned recognition in the logistics sector for its tech-powered approach, transparency, innovation and determination to deliver exceptional service and value.

Brian Hay, CEO of The Cardinal Partnership, said: “Our decision to become an employee-owned business will be transformational. We believe that excellence and dedication should be rewarded, and we have some of the most talented operators in our industry.

“During our first 25 years as a business, we have been able to take the company from a £15,000 investment to one of the UK’s most respected and sizable logistics businesses. Undoubtedly, this transition will allow us to take our business to the next level and I’m looking forward to what’s to come.”

Cardinal worked with an investment banking company, Houlihan Lokey, to pursue a liquidity event for shareholders when establishing its employee ownership trust.
Gareth Owen, Capital Markets Director at Houlihan Lokey, said: “Cardinal is a high-quality logistics services provider, providing reliable, market-leading service to its clients on a global basis. The company is a great example of delivering strong growth whilst maintaining its core values. We have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with management on this transformational step in its history, and look forward to watching the next phase of their journey.”