Sonnax Industries Inc, a maker of automatic transmission parts in Bellows Falls, was sold in early April to Marmon Holdings, Inc, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway. Sonnax was an employee-owned company, whose ESOP was sued by the US Department of Labor, as first reported by VBM in January 2017.  According to a press release and email, the new company will operate as Sonnax Transmission Company. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The company will remain in...


An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a benefit program in which employees acquire ownership of the company they work for by receiving shares of stock in it, typically with the help of bank loans that fund the ESOP. When employees retire or leave for other reasons, the company buys back their shares at current value. Significant tax breaks make ESOPs attractive to owners looking for an exit strategy that will compensate them and enhance their employees' financial security at the same...


Brent Nussbaum, CEO of Nussbaum Transportation, the trucking company his father started in 1945, says the best way to keep the firm family-owned for the next generation and to retain good people is by having his employees become part owners.

Beginning April 16, the Hudson, Ill., carrier gave 35% of ownership to employees through an employee stock ownership plan, known as an ESOP. Any employee on the payroll as of Jan. 1 is eligible immediately, and future employees become vested after...


Three pioneers of the solar industry in the Bay Area are in different stages of transferring the businesses they created, but they are all traveling on a similar road. They are all transferring the ownership of their businesses to their employees.


Bill Stewart is the former CEO and co-owner of SolarCraft, a 34-year-old solar company located in Novato. Stewart says that in the early days, almost all of their business was solar water heating, mostly for swimming pools....


Workers at Stewart's Shops are riding a rising company stock price that has created dozens of new millionaires heading for retirement, at least on paper.  Stock for the privately held company, which employs more than 4,500 people, has boomed this decade, rising 66 percent between 2011 and 2016, according to annual reports filed with the U.S. Labor Department.

Stewart's workers, who own almost 40 percent of that stock through a company retirement program, have been riding high along...


REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Shutterfly (NASDAQ: SFLY), the leading online retailer and manufacturer of high-quality personalized products and services, today announced it has closed its previously announced acquisition of Lifetouch, the national leader in school photography. The company financed the acquisition with the proceeds of an $825 million incremental term loan facility, which closed simultaneous with the acquisition.

"We are thrilled to welcome...


WASHINGTON — Popular convenience and gas store chain Wawa has launched its annual spring hiring campaign and says it's goal is to hire up to 5,000 new employees during the next three months.

The new hires are spread across Wawa's 790 stores in six states, but Wawa has a big Washington-Baltimore presence, and its local footprint is growing.  The new openings include everything from customer service to management-level jobs.  Wawa says every store will have some job opportunities, and...


Quick: what do a grocer in Sonoma County, California; a bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts; a real estate company in Columbus, Ohio; and a coffee house in Rock City, Maine have in common? Answer: all four companies are converting to worker ownership.

At Nonprofit Quarterly ("NPQ"), of course, we have profiled employee ownership. As we noted, "a business succession crisis that could cause millions to lose their jobs is looming." But by transferring ownership to employees, retiring...


Two bills on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) have passed without dissent in the Small Business Committees in the House and the Senate, and both have bipartisan support.

By unanimous vote, the House Small Business Committee passed the Main Street Employee Ownership Act, sponsored by Nydia Velaquez (D-NY), with a friendly amendment from Steve Chabot (R-OH). Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) initially developed the...


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Should Rhode Islanders own the companies they work for?

Five panelists at a breakfast gathering organized by Leadership Rhode Island made that argument Friday morning.

The leading arguments:

  • Employee-owned companies are fairer to workers.
  • They are more successful.
  • They are more productive.

In part because employees have a personal stake in the success of the company, employee ownership gives companies an "incredible...


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