Full Sail Voting to Scrap ESOP, Merge With Investment Firm

A fascinating tidbit I thought I'd pass along.  Today, Jamie Emmerson and Irene Firmat announced that the company is considering whether to end its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and merge with an investment firm.  This is a little different than the standard A-B news we've been hearing lately.  John Holl explains:
The number today of employee owners—called shareholders—is 78, and on Tuesday Founder and CEO Irene Firmat and Executive Brewmaster Jamie Emmerson sent a letter to those folks, asking them to vote on a proposal to merge with a San Francisco-based investment firm....

Shareholders were given ballots earlier today and those votes will be tallied at the end of the month. If approved, the investors could take ownership by mid-March. For the existing shareholders there will be a stock-option plan, but it will no longer be an ESOP company, but Firmat said it will enable employees to benefit along with the company as it continues to grow....

Firmat noted in an interview that the investors do not have a brewing background, so they will need the existing employees with their wide range of expertise to stay on and helm Full Sail. If the vote is successful, Firmat and Emmerson plan on staying at the brewery they founded in 1987.
I am not close enough to Full Sail nor smart enough about business to be able to parse this, but maybe some smart reader can give us some insight as to the pluses and minuses for the employees.
Jeff Alworth5 Comments