Author: The National Center for Employee Ownership
Source: The National Center for Employee Ownership
Few companies do more to create an ownership culture, or have done it longer, than LeFiell Manufacturing, a 200-employee manufacturer of tubular components for commercial aircraft and the space industry (LeFiell hardware was launched on November 30th to supply the space shuttle). Started in 1930, the Santa Fe Springs, CA company began its ESOP in 1974, just after the law authorizing ESOPs was passed. The plan was started mostly as an employee benefit. New shares were printed each year and the company took a corresponding tax deduction – and the owners took the dilution.
That continued until 1986, when the ESOP owned 30.5% of the shares. From that point on, the company contributed cash to the ESOP to buy shares from existing owners. Today, the ESOP owns 65% of the stock; 25% is owned by current employees; and 10% is owned by retired and terminated employees. When C. K. LeFiell, the original owner, died, he willed his remaining 30% ownership to individual employees and members of the board.