Employee Buyouts using an ESOP

An ESOP is an employee stock ownership plan. ESOPs play a unique role in that they’re technically an employee benefit retirement plan, but also serve as a tax-advantaged management buyout and ownership transition vehicle.

ESOP implementation involves choices and questions. Is the company currently an S-Corp or C-Corp? What’s the best structure for meeting client objectives? There are tax implications related to both S-Corp and C-Corp structures, both at closing and moving forward, that are decision points of which a seller must be aware. Is the sale to an ESOP going to be a 100% sale or a partial transaction? How would a staged transaction work if the initial sale is for less than 100%? How does the management team get rewarded?

At ButcherJoseph & Co., we have the answers to these and many more questions that you might have.  Our team of ESOP Consultants (advisors) will use their experience to structure the highest value transaction based on the client’s specific needs and the company’s requirements.

We have structured and financed over $7 billion in ESOP transactions throughout the course of our careers. We’ve seen and dealt with almost every variation on the theme and bring that expertise to work on behalf of our clients.

ESOPs are highly technical, but when the transactions are properly structured, ESOPs can create tremendous value for the seller, company employees and the management team. That’s what you call a win-win-win situation.

ESOP structured management buyouts can also serve as the means for private equity firms to exit current portfolio companies.  They can also be used as acquisition tools by private equity firms.  We’re one of the only advisors in the country that can legitimately claim significant experience working with private equity investors and ESOPs.

ESOPs do not necessarily fit every situation.  When we prepare a Value Analysis, we compare the options available to you (ESOP vs. a sale to a strategic or financial buyer.) Our experience and knowledge allows us to provide the information you need to make the decision that is right for you.

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