NewAge Industries is now entirely owned by its employees through its ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan).
“I’ve had business owners ask me, ‘Why employee ownership? Why not just take the highest offer and walk away?’” said CEO Ken Baker. “And my response has always been, ‘Because I don’t want to see the company that my father started, and that we’ve worked so hard to build, get broken into pieces, or shuttered, or absorbed by some big conglomerate.’”
NewAge’s ESOP was initiated in 2006 when Baker sold 30% of the company to its employees. An additional 10% was sold to the ESOP in 2013, and then another 9% in 2016, bringing the total percentage of ESOP ownership to 49%. Since its inception, the share price has appreciated 975%.
“ESOP means that we as owners have an understanding about our company and how we all play a fundamental role in not only the success of our business but also in the health of our retirement by remaining focused on our customers and our team members,” said Joel DeVine, NewAge’s Quality Control Supervisor and a fourteen year team member.
“I’m so glad to have this succession plan in place,” said Baker. “It keeps everyone employed at a progressive and very successful company, and it maintains the pride of ownership we’ve developed over the past thirteen years. The plan assures our customers continuity in supply from a business partner that understands their particular needs.”
Image credit: NewAge Industries