ESOP Partners, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) consulting and administration firm, has announced the successful completion of a sale of Volkmann Railroad Builders to its employees via an ESOP. Rick Volkmann, owner and president of Volkmann Railroad Builders, finalized the sale in December 2015.
Established in 1975 to meet the needs of railway customers in the Midwest, today Volkmann Railroad Builders engineers, builds and repairs tracks for railway customers throughout the U.S. The company’s vertical markets include the coal, ethanol, chemical plastics, fertilizer, grain, and aerospace industries, among others.
An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan that buys, holds, and sells company stock for the benefit of the employees, providing them with an ownership stake in the company. According to The Employee Ownership Foundation’s 23rd Annual ESOP Economic Performance Survey, the majority of ESOP companies showed increases in productivity, revenue, stock value, and profitability, all of which benefit employees.
“We’ve experienced strong growth and built a great reputation in the industry we serve,” said Volkmann. “The company culture is such that an ESOP is a good transition tool for me and, more importantly, a great way to reward our highly skilled and dedicated employees. It’s definitely an exciting new phase for the company.”
Aaron Juckett, ESOP Partners President, said the transition was made simple because Volkmann got ESOP Partners involved early in the ownership transition process. “When a company involves us early in the process, the way Rick Volkmann did, we’re able to make the entire process more efficient and effective,” he said. “When we’re involved from the start, clients get optimum value from our experience, which we leverage to quickly complete sales with optimum benefit to both the business owner and the company.”
About Volkmann Railroad Builders
Established in 1975, Volkmann Railroad Builders performs track work for railway customers nationwide. Known for its high-quality workmanship, attention to detail, and efficient production, the company has earned an exemplary reputation, performing work for power plants, grain elevators, warehouses, plastics manufacturers, ethanol plants, short-line railroads, railroad museums, mines, municipalities, narrow-gauge amusement parks, paper mills, Class I railroads, and NASA. Company services include track inspection and consultation, track maintenance and repair, new track construction, site survey and rail design, emergency services, brush cutting and weed spraying, snow removal and switch cleaning, and railroad material sales.
About ESOP Partners
ESOP Partners is an ESOP consulting and administration firm that provides a single ESOP expert as a point of contact throughout the lifecycle of the ESOP. The company works with business owners and companies considering an ESOP to provide ESOP feasibility, plan design, and full ESOP implementation services. ESOP Partners also provides support for ongoing ESOP companies, including ESOP TPA services, distribution and repurchase obligation planning, and consulting services covering corporate governance, ESOP culture, employee communications, and second stage transactions.
Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are qualified retirement plans that buy, hold, and sell company stock for the benefit of the employees, providing an ownership stake in the company. ESOPs are the only retirement plan allowed to borrow money to purchase stock and are generally funded only by the company. Selling part or all of a business to an ESOP enables a business owner to sell to a built-in buyer in as little as 60-90 days at full fair market value. There are many significant tax and cash flow benefits of selling to an ESOP. An ESOP also allows for a better-managed ownership transition, preservation of local jobs, and the maintenance of a company’s legacy in the community. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) there are approximately 7,000 ESOPs in place in the U.S., covering 13.5 million employees.