1/2 The ESOP members do get a vote on this (the article implies it hasn't happened yet). I wonder if the vote is on a per-person or a per-share basis, and if the latter, how the vote will break down. Is this something the majority of the employee owners want, or is it something that a few big shareholders are pushing through?
700 workers and 300 of them will get at least $100K, plus they're being told they won't lose their jobs, so I could see how ppl would take the money, especially if they don't feel like the ESOP is much differently managed than a trad. corp.
What say you @mattcropp ? What's your take on this development, being in both the brewing and ESOP games?
Bummer (to me).
This is one of the features or bugs of the ESOP model, depending on how you look at it. In the "broad-based employee ownership" space, I perceive there to be two (mostly implicit) ideologies: #SharedCapitalism (#ESOP) and #EconomicDemocracy (#Coop).
The former views the profitable sale of an EO company as a triumph, since the increased value of the firm is broadly shared. 1/
@GuerillaOntologist @Matt_Noyes The latter, whose co-op model functions to de-commodify the firm, views it as a tragedy: an "island of cooperation" being swamped and reclaimed by the sea of capitalism, thus pushing back the goal of those islands merging into continents and the sea receding into lakes. 2/2
@Matt_Noyes @GuerillaOntologist This article that @ntnsndr shared gets into more details. Sounds like the repurchase obligation in the face of growing valuations was diverting cash from needed scaling capital investment. In a way, almost a victim of its own success...
When capital is the organizing principle accumulation trumps mutuality. In a similar way, Fagor went bankrupt because of their aggressive acquisition strategy.
I also think we should be careful to value Kim Jordan's promises that very little will change -- B Corp status, carbon-neutral, etc. as hot air, unless there is some kind of contractual language backing them up. Is there? Otherwise it depends on the whim of the new owners.
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