ButcherJoseph Advised Our State Magazine on Sale to Employees

February 2018


VIew press release

“As any owner who’s pursued a sale to an ESOP can attest, the process is highly technical and quite details, and I was very fortunate to work with ButcherJoseph & Co. Their team of professionals offered outstanding guidance and expertise through the entire process.”

Bernie Mann

President & Publisher, Our State Magazine

Who is our client?

  • Celebrating North Carolina since 1933, Our State Magazine (“Our State”) is a monthly publication celebrating the very best of North Carolina through lively storytelling and stunning photography. With 170,000 paid subscribers, their circulation is one of the largest statewide publications.
  • In 1996, Mann Media bought the publication and has helped to ensure it remains the largest paid circulation of any North Carolina magazine or daily newspaper.
  • In March 2018, Our State’s 85th anniversary year, Bernie Mann, President and Publisher of Our State, sold the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Why did Our State Magazine hire ButcherJoseph?

  • Our State’s president and publisher, Bernie Mann, expressed an interest in sharing the magazine’s financial success with the very people who helped make the publication successful. Selling the company into a 100% ESOP allowed him that opportunity.

What did ButcherJoseph deliver?

  • ButcherJoseph was hired to guide Our State through the ESOP process and structured a deal that benefitted all stakeholders.
  • Mann received a market valuation that appropriately reflected the unique and attractive attributes of the business, despite industry headwinds faced by other print publishers.
  • Our State benefits from having a young staff. The ESOP is a tremendous opportunity for employees and key executives to benefit in the future from the creation of equity value and is a proven method of increasing employee retention and engagement.
  • The transaction established a succession plan that allowed for the gradual transition of Mann’s role, while incentivizing key leaders with meaningful equity participation.