January 23, 2014 marked the day that Plasticard Locktech International, better known, as PLI became an Employee Owned Company. The announcement was made to all 320 employees at a special event held at the Kimmel Arena on the Campus of UNC – Asheville in Western North Carolina.
After 25 years of the same private ownership, the Partners and Board of Directors approved the plan to convert the company into an ESOP, or Employee Stock Ownership Plan. In doing so the company is effectively being sold, over time, to the current and future employees of the company.
As a successful and growing company, PLI has been approached regularly from other parties interested in purchasing the company. In vetting all of those opportunities it became clear that a viable suitor might not be possible. The only way the company would consider selling was if it found a partner or acquiring group that shared the passion and the vision of the company and wanted to see to its continued growth and well being.
“In considering all of our options, we could think of no better partners or shareholders than the employees”, said Ron Leventhal, Founder and current CFO. “They have the most direct ability to impact the success of the company and now more then ever have a vested interest in doing so”, he continued.
“One of the amazing things about an ESOP is that our employees get and continue to earn shares in the company at zero cost to them”, added Mark Goldberg President and CEO. “There are significant tax benefits to the company and the employees,” added Goldberg.
These tax savings help to ensure the continued growth and financial health of the company and also help to finance the stock purchase of company’s shares by the employees. It also makes PLI more competitive when considering other possible acquisitions.
“This is an amazing way for the company to give back and say thank you to its employees. After 25 years of unprecedented growth and success the team should be very excited to be able to gain ownership in the company at zero cost to them,” said Peter Krauss, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer.
“The existing Management team remains in place, as does the current Board Of Directors,” added Goldberg.
“Daily operations of the company remain the same however we now have an even more motivated and engaged team that will ensure that our customers always come first and that PLI remains on this amazing trajectory of growth,” added Krauss.