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Employees Assume Ownership of Imtra Business

Imtra employees now own the business thanks to an ESOP.

Imtra employees now own the business thanks to an ESOP.

Imtra, a manufacturer and importer of quality products and solutions for the marine, energy and transportation markets, announced that it sold 100 percent ownership rights of the company to its employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

An alternative to transactions such as private equity acquisition or a strategic sale, ESOPs provide a competitive financial return for shareholders while allowing the leadership team to stay in place, obviating any change in business control or company culture.

Previous owners — president and CEO Eric Braitmayer and vice president of recreational sales Chip Farnham — will continue to lead the business and focus on growth and employee development.

Imtra’s New Bedford, Mass., offices.

Imtra’s New Bedford, Mass., offices.

“Imtra has always been a company with a focus on employee satisfaction and personal growth,” Braitmayer said in a statement. “Passing ownership along to our (employee) team is an honor and very much in line with our company’s core values. We believe that transferring ownership to those who’ve been instrumental in building this company is a great way of rewarding their efforts and keeping them a part of building the future of Imtra.”

According to Braitmayer, an ESOP solution allows Imtra to stay independently owned, so the company maintains continuity of core values and ethics without operational disruptions or leadership changes.

“Imtra was started 70 years ago by my grandfather and my father ran it for decades,” added Farnham. “In that time, we have always endeavored to satisfy our three most important constituents: our customers, supplier partners and staff. Our success has always been driven by building a team that takes exceptional care of our customers and partners.”

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Braitmayer continued, “Finding a way to transition ownership without disrupting our team’s performance was a concern. The ESOP checked all the boxes in that there will be no disruptions in our operations, so customers and suppliers should see us only improve in the new model. It is a win-win-win-win as not only our customers, suppliers and employees will be happy with the changes, but our shareholders are also thrilled with the outcome of the deal. ESOPs are also an effective way to address wealth inequality in our culture and this is something important to us.”

The company statement attributed its success to its customer focus, enabling Imtra to survive and flourish in recent years. 

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