Southampton, PA — At a company-wide meeting held September 5, it became official: NewAge Industries is now entirely owned by its employees through its ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). The event was the culmination of a plan first considered by CEO Ken Baker more than two decades ago.
"I've had a lot of other business owners ask me, 'Why employee ownership? Why not just take the highest offer and walk away?' " said Baker. "And my response has always been, 'Because I don't want to see the company that my father started, and that we've worked so hard to build, get broken into pieces, or shuttered, or absorbed by some big conglomerate.' "
Baker continued, "There are a good number of people who've been with NewAge for over ten years. Another group has passed the fifteen-year mark, and several more have over twenty years of dedication. There are even a few employee-owners who've been with NewAge for over twenty-five years. The ESOP is one way to reward these long-term team members after they retire."
NewAge's ESOP was initiated in 2006 when Baker sold thirty percent of the company to its employees. Ten percent more was sold to the ESOP in 2013, and then another nine percent in 2016, bringing the total percentage of ESOP ownership to forty-nine percent. Since its inception, the share price has appreciated 975%.
"Many people have misconceptions about how an ESOP works. It doesn't cost the employees anything. It's overseen by a trustee, whose job it is to handle the ESOP's assets in the best interests of the employee-owners. The company receives tax benefits, which in turn benefits the ESOP. And, yes, the business owner can make a nice sum from the sale of the company's stock. Everybody wins," noted Baker.
Joel DeVine, NewAge's Quality Control Supervisor and a fourteen year team member, said that the "ESOP means that we as owners have an understanding about our company and how we all play a fundamental role in not only the success of our business but also in the health of our retirement by remaining focused on our customers and our team members."
"I am proud to be a part of something that affects so many people... our customers and their customers, all of my fellow owners and their families," stated Kimly Ourn, Mold Shop Supervisor.
Ourn continued, "I consider myself very fortunate to have become part of the NewAge team seven years ago. I worked at several jobs prior to NewAge, and not many offered benefits and nothing like what we have here. Working here has made a big difference in my life. I'm healthier and happier, and knowing that I can retire with a piece of something that we've all helped build is like the cherry on top."
"I'm so glad to have this succession plan in place," said Baker. "It keeps everyone employed at a progressive and very successful company, and it maintains the pride of ownership we've developed over the past thirteen years."
Baker also said, "It's wonderful to see how everyone works together and works through challenges with the customer in mind. The plan assures our customers continuity in supply from a business partner that understands their particular needs."
Learn more about NewAge's path to 100% employee ownership at http://www.newageindustries.com/esop.asp or contact the Fluid Transfer Specialists® at NewAge Industries by phone: 800-506-3924 or 215-526-2300; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 800-837-1856 or 215-526-2190; or at 145 James Way, Southampton, PA 18966.
About NewAge® Industries
In business since 1954, NewAge Industries manufactures and fabricates thermoplastic and thermoset tubing and hose. The company offers one of the broadest product lines of tubing, hose, and fittings in the U.S., and its custom extrusion and fabrication services are unrivaled. NewAge Industries maintains an inventory of over ten million feet of tubing and hose and prides itself on same-day shipment of 98% of orders for its core product lines. In 2006, NewAge initiated an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) for the benefit of both its employees and customers.
The AdvantaPure® division of NewAge Industries is ISO 9001:2008 certified and specializes in high purity tubing, hose, single use process manifolds and systems, and other molded components for the pharmaceutical, biomedical, food, beverage, and chemical industries. All products are manufactured, stored, and shipped using the cleanest methods possible to ensure unsurpassed product purity. Automated product identification systems, including gamma stable RFID tags and labels, are offered by NewAge's Verigenics® division.