As the chair of the LV= Employee Consultative Forum (ECF)*, I wanted to reach out to you directly regarding the upcoming member vote on the 10 December, and to share my views on the proposed transaction with Bain Capital. I write this with the best interests of our employees and the future of our business foremost in my mind.
Feedback suggests employees have been somewhat surprised and disappointed by the intensity and ferocity of the media coverage regarding the proposed transaction with Bain Capital. While the expected financial benefits for members is clearly an important factor to consider I would also encourage you to focus on the wider picture and what it will mean for the LV= brand and people. The Bain Capital transaction represents an investment of £160m to help grow the business and reclaim LV=’s position as a top 3 provider. Crucially it also keeps LV= independent, and preserves UK jobs over the long term, as well as providing exciting future opportunities for our people.
There has been ongoing and open dialogue between LV= and the ECF over the last 12 months, and we in turn have been working closely with employees to understand their views on what this deal means to them. It is clear to me that the decision to partner with Bain Capital is looking to collectively ensure the best outcome for our members, to safeguard our LV= brand, and importantly to support a future for our people.
LV= is a significant employer in the Bournemouth, Hitchin and Exeter areas, and Bain Capital have committed to all these locations. The other bids could have resulted in large numbers of immediate job losses and closure of sites - a less than desirable outcome. In contrast Bain Capital want to provide the opportunity for people to be part of a growing business.
I personally believe that the proposed transaction with Bain Capital provides the best outcome for our employees and members alike, and secures a bright future for our well-loved brand. As such I am fully supportive of the partnership and would encourage you to use your vote in favour of the deal.
*The ECF is the established staff association and employee consultative body within LVFS. It provides a forum through which LVFS and the ECF can work together in a spirit of shared confidence and co-operation regarding any changes that will affect employees. It acts as a conduit for information between management and employees and, as such, both assists management in understanding the views (and needs) of its circa 1,300 employees, and cascade of information from management to employees.