At a recent company-wide meeting, NewAge Industries’ CEO Ken Baker announced that he would transfer an additional nine percent of the value of the company to its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Employees of the tubing manufacturer know that it means more company shares in their pockets come retirement.
“We underwent an initial evaluation over ten years ago to determine the value of the company’s stock,” said Baker, “and I sold thirty percent to the ESOP. I sold another ten percent in 2013, and now, with this additional nine percent, it brings the total ESOP ownership to forty-nine percent. I’m very pleased to be able to give back to our team members and their families in this way.”
Baker noted that the value of the shares are given to employees after retirement and are at no cost to employees.
“The shares are bought by the ESOP through an internal company loan. Employees receive an annual statement showing how many shares he or she owns and the current value of those shares. When a team member retires, the ESOP buys back that team member’s shares, and the team member gets a nice sum of money for retirement,” stated Baker.
Baker observed that the importance of the ESOP is illustrated in a number of ways. It’s a succession plan that keeps everyone employed, and it gives employees the pride of ownership. Having the ESOP in place also improves morale and camaraderie and benefits customers because team members understand that their everyday actions affect their retirement benefits.
“The company’s future is quite bright,” noted Baker, “and shifting another percentage of it to the ESOP is exciting. We’re all looking forward to making NewAge even more successful.”