“This has been a goal for a number of years,” says CEO and majority share owner Ken Baker, “and I’m glad the plan has now become reality. Making the employees part owners is a big benefit to our customers, as well as the employees.”
A BIG BENEFIT TO OUR CUSTOMERS, AS WELL AS OUR EMPLOYEES
NewAge Industries established its ESOP – Employee Stock Ownership Plan – in January 2006, when CEO Ken Baker sold 30% of the company to the employees as a way to ensure the company's continuation. Today NewAge is 100% employee owned.
The ESOP added a new facet to the company's culture, namely the pride of ownership, while it discouraged a buyout from a competitor or other business. It's another feature of the company's retirement benefits that include a pension plan and 401(k) plan.
In January of 2013, Baker sold an additional 10% to the employees, bringing employee ownership to a 40% share. ESOP ownership was increased to 49% in 2016, and in 2019 NewAge became 100% employee owned.
Since the inception of the ESOP, NewAge has continued to grow and prosper. Demand for its high purity products, marketed under the AdvantaPure® name, has experienced tremendous growth, and its standard products have also seen a substantial increase in sales. This success and the satisfaction of employee ownership has a real and beneficial effect on the morale, attitude, and future retirement of NewAge Industries' employee-owners.
NewAge built its solid reputation by providing a high level of customer support and service, along with superior products, and the AdvantaPure division has earned a similar standing. The establishment of the ESOP lets employees expand upon that by allowing them to take true ownership of their positions. Baker says "When a customer calls, they speak with an owner. The employees' jobs are part of an investment in their future, and that's reflected in their communications with customers and suppliers, and with each other, now more than ever."
Another customer benefit resulting from the ESOP is that it sets up a succession plan for the organization. Many of today's international conglomerates become larger by acquiring small companies. Plants are often closed, and production is moved offshore. The knowledge and talent of those employees is lost as they find jobs in other industries. Baker wanted to avoid that possibility and, at the same time, help secure a future for NewAge, AdvantaPure, and its employees.
EXPERIENCE THE PRIDE OF BEING A NEWAGE TEAM MEMBER
NewAge Industries is an employee owned company that is a great place to work. Interested in how you can enjoy the many benefits of ownership? Check out the video below.
In this fun video, team members share their thoughts on what it means to be an employee-owner.
To see the opportunities we are currently offering and learn more about working at NewAge, click on the link below. There, you can apply for available positions directly from the job postings page.
Ken Baker, CEO of 100% ESOP Company NewAge Industries, walks through the nuts & bolts of the ESOP structure for businesses. He also explains the significant tax breaks for S Corporations and shows where the tax deferred dollars go.
For Owners Looking to Sell, an Option That Keeps Their Company Intact
A sale to employees keeps the company local, and that may be more important to some owners than getting the highest price.