Dead & Forgotten
- Sep 5, 2018
'Wallace & Gromit' Producer Aardman Animations Transfers Ownership to Employees
Founders Peter Lord and David Sproxton say they're not - yet – quitting the iconic, Oscar-winning studio that they founded more than 40 years ago, but want to ensure that it maintains its independence and doesn't become just another asset on a balance sheet.
The decision, made by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, who first set up Aardman in 1972, will see the majority of company shares transferred into a trust, which will then hold them on behalf of the workforce.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, both Lord and Sproxton explained that the move was about seven years in the making, and while it wasn’t an indicator of their imminent departure, meant that Aardman was in “the best possible shape” for when that moment came and would help secure its creative legacy and culture.
“We’ve spent so much time building this company up and being so profoundly attached to it. It’s not a business to us, it’s everything, it’s our statement to the world,” said Lord. “Having done that for so many years, the last thing we wanted to do was to just flog it off to someone.”
“And we wanted to make sure they are all engaged in this employee ownership as well,” said Spoxton, who suggested that the current spate of takeovers would mean that, should they simply find a buyer for Aardman, the company could just become another asset on studio's a balance sheet.
“There’s no real concern about the culture of the people, it’s just an asset that can be sold on in years to come,” he said.