Author: The National Center for Employee Ownership
Source: The National Center for Employee Ownership
Bofors, Inc., a printing company in San Mateo, CA, has been one of the most active, visited, and talked about ESOPs. Bofors was started in 1946, set up an ESOP in 1976, and eventually became 100% employee owned. But in the fall of 2000, Bofors was sold, albeit to another ESOP company, Lithographix. The evolution and sale of Bofors in many ways typifies a common life-cycle pattern in ESOP companies. While new research actually shows that ESOP companies are somewhat more likely to maintain their organizational identity over time than comparable non-ESOP companies, ESOPs are by no means immune to the market forces that can make the sale of a company the most attractive alternative for owners and employees – even if they are the same people.