Yankee Publishing Inc., a family-owned business for 84 years, announced the sale of 30% of its shares to the company’s employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan or ESOP.
The company, with 85 employees based in offices in Dublin and Manchester, New Hampshire, publishes Yankee, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, New Hampshire Magazine, Family Tree Magazine, and other publications and websites.
The third- and fourth-generation shareholders of Yankee Publishing wanted a plan that would provide the opportunity for shareholders to sell their shares while preserving the independence of the company.
“If we had sold the assets of the company to different buyers, it would have been very disruptive,” said Jamie Trowbridge, President and CEO. “The family members would not accept a solution that resulted in the business being broken up and our employees losing their jobs.”
The ESOP was the best solution, Trowbridge said, because the ownership of the company will be gradually transferred to employees. The family members plan to sell all of the company’s stock to the ESOP over time. No change in management or operations will be caused by the sale.
An ESOP is a company-sponsored retirement plan governed by the same IRS regulations that pertain to 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plans. Employees earn shares in the ESOP over time and are paid for them after they retire or leave the company. Employees do not pay for the shares. The company pays for the shares out of its profits.
“We’re very excited to announce that Yankee Publishing is an employee owned company,” said Trowbridge. “Our employees have always been very dedicated, and they are essential to our success, now and in the future.”