Tuesday, February 07, 2012
DANSKO BECOMES A 100% EMPLOYEE-OWNED COMPANY
West Grove, PA: Dansko, a market leader in premium comfort footwear, announced a transaction in which all shares of the company were redeemed, including those of the founders, Amanda (Mandy) Cabot and Peter Kjellerup. All of the shares in the company are now held by a new ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), resulting in a 100% employee owned company.
Dansko had created an ESOP in 2003 that had provided ownership of 4% to the employees. “This transition to 100% ESOP ownership marks the continuation of Dansko’s commitment to its employees, its community and its values. We have first and foremost always focused on sustainability,” said CEO Mandy Cabot, “and the best way to ensure that our values and culture continue to thrive is to sell the company to everyone in the Dansko family who already embody our values and culture.” She continued by saying, “Peter and I, as well as the rest of the executive team, will continue in our current roles to help guide and develop the next generation of leaders.”
Dansko has long been a leader in innovative products and business practices. Dansko is a founding B Corporation, multi-year winner of the Footwear Plus Design Excellence in Women’s Comfort Footwear Award, ranked one of the Top Workplaces in the Philadelphia Area, recipient of the Annual Leadership Award from The Delaware Valley Green Building Council and The Triple Bottom Line Award from The Social Business Network of Greater Philadelphia.
ldquo;Our long-standing mission has always been to be our stakeholders’ favorite… our consumers, retail partners, the community we live in, and our business community,” said Cabot. “Now, the 100% ESOP structure will allow all of our employees the chance to experience the fulfillment of ownership.”
“Dansko helped catalyze a movement to redefine success in business by becoming a founding B Corporation,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies B Corporations as having met the highest standards of social and environmental performance. “Now Dansko sets the bar higher by ensuring that the entire Dansko family shares not only in the joy of working at Dansko, but in the wealth created by the Dansko way of doing business.”
From its start in 1990, when Mandy and Peter were selling shoes out of the back of their Volvo station wagon, Dansko has grown to approximately $140 million in annual sales and 175 employees. Dansko footwear and a recently introduced line of premium healthcare apparel are sold in over 2,500 premium U.S. and international retail locations.
Verit Advisors provided expertise in ESOP valuation and structuring, M&A, and Debt Placement alternatives, allowing Dansko to evaluate and optimize their objectives.
Dansko has been a leader in providing all day comfort footwear, socks and healthcare apparel while standing at the forefront of ethical business practices. For more information visit dansko.com.