Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
ESOP is a financial tool available to many privately owned businesses of various sizes. ESOPs, when properly structured, can provide business owners and their businesses with significant tax savings, enhanced cash flows and an important employee benefit plan linked to company performance that can attract and retain employees.
More specifically, through an ESOP, a business owner may be able to:
- Sell all or part of an equity interest in a company. When properly structured the owner may be able to participate in the ESOP as well as maintain effective control of all business decisions.
- Defer capital gains taxes on the sale of equity stock under certain design scenarios.
- Diversify wealth accumulated in the business.
- Provide an affordable method to transfer control of the business to the next family generation or key-employee group.
- Provide an effective method to enhance estate and gift planning opportunities.
Empire is a national leader in ESOP Valuations. Many of our firm's professionals are distinguished members of the ESOP Association of America, and the National Center for Employee Ownership. We provide ERISA and ESOP Trustees with accurate and defensible valuation conclusions that meet all applicable ERISA, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor regulations.
Empire has a long and distinguished track record, working with many of the country's leading ERISA and ESOP attorneys and trustees, rendering opinions on fairness, adequate consideration, valuation and solvency.
When an ERISA or ESOP Trustee demands an independent valuation opinion that will withstand the highest levels of scrutiny they rely on Empire's proven capabilities.
Empire's senior level ESOP professionals become important members of a team of ESOP advisors which provides transaction expertise and experience. Our professionals have assisted clients in every phase of an ESOP transaction.
We can assist businesses considering and ESOP with the following:
- Provide initial education on all aspects of a potential ESOP structure to meet the client's stated goals and objectives, including analyzing both C and S corporation scenarios.
- Prepare preliminary valuation opinions to support various ESOP feasibility design alternatives.
- Develop ESOP security design analysis to provide an ESOP security that will optimize the client's goals and objectives, including the use of dividends to provide greater flexibility.
- Create working models to assist in the design of key executive alternative incentive plans, such as Stock Appreciation Rights, Phantom Stock and Stock Option plans.
For information on Empire's ESOP services please contact Terry Griswold, Managing Director, Chuck Coyne, Managing Director, or Greg Sullivan, Managing Director.
Empire brings years of practical experience and expertise in ESOP formation strategies and valuation to our clients throughout the country.