IMTRA, a manufacturer and importer of solutions and products for the marine, energy and transport markets, today announced that it has sold 100% ownership of the company to its employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Offering a compelling alternative to other sales events such as private equity or strategic selling, ESOPs allow the management team to stay in place while delivering a competitive return to shareholders without the potential challenges that often come with a change in control of a closely held business. .
The two members of the management team who were the former owners, President and CEO Eric Braitmayer and Vice President of Recreational Sales Chip Farnham, will continue to drive the business forward and focus on growth and talent development without the lingering concerns of what will happen with ownership. company on the road. IMTRA has already built an incredible “next generation” of qualified employees who are ready to take on more responsibility and contribute to the future growth of the company.
“IMTRA has always been a company focused on employee satisfaction and personal growth,” said Braitmayer. “We have had great success growing our team, building from within and creating dedicated and passionate team members throughout the career. Passing ownership to our team is an honor and very much in line with our core company values. We believe that transferring ownership to those who have been instrumental in building this business is a great way to reward their efforts and engage them in building IMTRA’s future.
“IMTRA was started 70 years ago by my grandfather and my father ran it for decades,” Farnham said. “During this period, we have always strived to satisfy our three main constituents: our customers, our supplier partners and our staff. Our success has always been driven by building a team that takes exceptional care of our customers and partners.
Braitmayer continued, “Finding a way to transfer ownership without disrupting our team’s performance was a concern. The ESOP ticked all the boxes in that there will be no disruptions to our operations, so customers and suppliers should only see us getting better in the new model. It’s a win-win-win situation, because not only will our customers, suppliers and employees be happy with the changes, but our shareholders are also delighted with the outcome of the agreement. ESOPs are also an effective way to address wealth inequality in our culture and this is something important to us.
Unlike the variety of acquisitions and consolidations currently underway in the maritime industry, the ESOP solution allows IMTRA to remain independent. Existing and growing leaders on the team can continue to lead the company with the same core values and ethics without the disruption to operations that often occurs when control changes in private companies.
Through the expansion of IMTRA’s management team in 2019 and building on existing sales, fulfillment and service departments to realign the business to be even more customer focused , the company remained nimble in the face of uncertainty. This has made IMTRA adaptable and able to respond quickly to unforeseen events, such as a global pandemic. The company has not only survived, but thrived over the past few years. IMTRA’s management is looking to continue this positive trend and by reinvesting in its people, the company is well positioned for future growth and success in the years to come.