The ESOP Alternative

BEI members appreciate the value of an extensive exit planning toolkit. When their clients prioritize tax-efficiency and legacy preservation, employee ownership may be the best strategy.

See how ESOPs compare to other transaction options.

M&A Isn't Always the Answer

Exit strategies are often all-or-nothing decisions. But many owners would sooner punt on a great offer than leave their businesses behind. Even if they ultimately settle for a third-party or private equity transaction, the capital gains tax burden can often be painful.

In these instances, employee stock ownership plans offer meaningful, customizable alternatives to third-party and private equity transactions. A well-crafted strategy can help satisfy owners’ liquidity and diversification goals, while creating stronger, independent companies in the process.


A Unique Liquidity Strategy

Leveraged ESOPs enable closely-held companies to sell equity, at a fair market value, to an employee trust. This is not a stock option program. Instead, an ESOP is an ERISA-authorized, defined contribution plan.

Broad-Based Benefits


Leveraged ESOPs help shareholders unlock equity value, while offering meaningful incentives to their companies and employees.

Taking Chips off the Table

Partial leveraged ESOPs (30-49% sales) are common and enable selling shareholders to unlock net worth while retaining equity in their companies. Third-party deal financing, often without personal guarantees, is readily available. Post-transaction, business owners maintain leadership roles, while their companies remain independent and the free to entertain various transaction options.

Join CSG's David Blauzvern as he shares the nuances and benefits of partial ESOP transactions. This webinar was originally presented to BEI members.

Learn More About Employee Ownership



For additional tips and insights, check out our most popular resources, prepared by our ESOP experts.


Why do CExPs Trust CSG?

We've guided companies nationwide – from feasibility studies to financing and completed transactions – though the employee ownership process.

Our focus on education, and our commitment to honoring advisor-client relationships, has led to hundreds of ESOP formations and numerous awards from leading organizations.

40+ ESOP Firm and Deal of the Year Awards