The Importance of Employee Ownership

In this Marketplace interview, Davey's Sandra Reid, vice president, corporate communications and strategic planning administration, discusses the importance of employee ownership after a well-known, employee-owned U.S. beer company sold.

Posted: Nov. 21, 2019

One of the biggest names in craft beer, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing, said Tuesday it is selling the business to a subsidiary of Japanese beer maker Kirin. That brings to an end one of the most well-known examples of an employee-owned company in the United States.

The maker of Fat Tire ale switched to all-employee ownership in 2012 through an arrangement called an employee stock ownership plan, basically an employee-owned trust that holds the company’s stock. Only about 6,000 companies in the U.S. are owned by their employees in this way. And while the total number of companies like New Belgium has dipped slightly over the last decade or so, there are more workers in those employee-owned companies than about 10 years ago, according Loren Rodgers with the National Center for Employee Ownership.

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