Equity Expansion International | Our Accomplishments
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EEI’s Accomplishments

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  • Among the companies for which EEI principals have supplied ESOP services for nearly 25 years, are the prototype employee buyouts at Allied Plywood Corporation (a model risk-and-reward sharing program), Mid-South Building Supply(100% bank-financing), South Bend Lathe (which served as the model for saving 8,000 jobs at Weirton Steel), and La Perla (a model corporate farm in Guatemala with 500 farmworker-owners).
  • In addition to developing the initial U.S. laws and policies that have led to over 10,000 ESOPs in the U.S., EEI founders also spearheaded the White House task force that presented a report to President Reagan in 1987. This report, High Road to Economic Justice, called for promoting ESOP initiatives in U.S. economic assistance efforts in Central America and the Caribbean.
  • EEI was a founding member of the USAID-funded Center for Privatization (1988), where it championed the democratized ownership of profitable, well-managed privatized companies, in contrast to the standard privatization model.
  • EEI associates have consulted extensively for USAID, the World Bank and other international organizations on economic development projects. EEI has provided ESOP privatization and economic development services in various countries including Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
  • EEI professionals are working closely with the Institute of Integrated Rural Development in Bangladesh to start up a worker-owned garment factory as an alternative to the sweatshop model for selling to global customers. This model will introduce the idea of a “Justice-Based ManagementSM label,” providing a competitive advantage to firms selling to customers in the U.S. and other global markets who want products reflecting “value without exploitation.”
  • Under a USAID contract, EEI’s professional team structured the first ESOP in the developing world for the Alexandria Tire Company of Egypt, a $160 million joint venture between the Egyptian government-owned tire manufacturer TRENCO, the Pirelli Tire Company of Italy, 11 other investors, and the “ATC Employee Shareholders Association” (“ESA”). The team invented the ESA as a substitute for an ESOP Trust, an entity not legally recognized under Egyptian law. With a loan of 42 million Egyptian pounds ($18 million) to purchase 25.8% of the stock, the ATC “ESOP” (representing over 600 workers who had not yet been hired by this start-up company) became the largest shareholder of this “state of the art” steel-belted radial truck tire manufacturer. The ATC model served as a prototype for further ESOPs in Egypt.

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  • The EEI design introduced several innovations, including 1) the creation of an Employee Shareholders Association to replace the use of a trust, which is not recognized under Egyptian law; 2) the expansion of opportunity to acquire shares on credit to the 3500 employees of the parent company—an important step in the direction of universal access to capital ownership; 3) the involvement of employee representatives from the very start in the design of the ESOP plan and bylaws through a Temporary ESOP Steering Committee (a broadly representative body including worker representatives) which precedes the establishment of the ESOP; and 4) the channeling of extremely low-cost credit to building productive capacity while providing ownership to employees, without resorting to interest rate subsidies. The Alexandria Tire Company experience has created a broad coalition for employee ownership among Egyptian ministers and other key decision-makers, and engendered the establishment of an investment fund for creating other ESOPs, including the divestiture of state-owned enterprises to their employees.
  • Under a contract requested by the Government of Costa Rica (1989), EEI developed in a model “parallel legal system” for presentation to a review board designated by the Costa Rican Ministry of Planning. In August 1990, FEDEPRICAP, a regional private sector umbrella group, held a conference in San Jose to bring together business and labor leaders to study EEI’s proposals.
  • EEI served as ESOP advisor to the U.S. Urban Mass Transportation Administration’s program for privatizing mass transit systems through ESOPs. EEI was hired as the general contractor of a professional consortium that included Price Waterhouse, a top Michigan law firm and a number of leading ESOP practitioners, to develop an ESOP buyout strategy for the Isabella County (Michigan) Transportation Commission (ICTC).
  • EEI principals were contracted by the Inter-American Development Bank (1993) at the request of the Mexican Ministry of Finance to collaborate with a highly respected private university, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM) , resulting in ESOP legislation for Mexico (“Plan Apoye”).
  • An EEI principal acted as an advisor to the Minister of Cooperatives of Indonesia on utilizing employee cooperatives as ESOP vehicles for building ownership into employees in various enterprises, including divestiture of state-owned enterprises and joint ventures with multinational corporations.
  • EEI was requested by the World Bank to identify opportunities for debt-equity conversions which would gradually transfer ownership of state-owned enterprises to the employees through ESOP mechanisms.
  • EEI completed a USAID-funded study (1990) commissioned by the Cámara Empresarial de Guatemala (CAEM) to encourage ESOPs in that country. Among other advances, this led to a proposal to sell on credit Guatel, the telecommunications company, to its employees and consumers. The study also recommended ESOPs for “free trade companies” (to position those companies to request exemptions from U.S. trade quotas and other trade barriers), and the adoption of a “parallel legal system” like that proposed for Costa Rica.
  • EEI was contracted by the Private Sector Financial Operations Group, Co-Financing and Financial Advisory Services Division of the World Bank (August 1990) , to explore the feasibility of enabling employees to purchase the SIDERMEX Steel Complex from the Government of Mexico through an ESOP.

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  • In 1991, an EEI principal on loan to the consulting firm ABT Associates Inc. served as chief of party of a USAID-funded team to study the financial and ESOP design feasibility of privatizing the state-owned seed processing plants of the Honduran Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). This led to a rare combination of a two-year lease purchase to be followed in 1993 by a 100 percent leveraged employee buyout in which the MNR will supply credit by “taking back paper.” This two-stage buyout will enable the employees to acquire immediate control and eventual title of the seed processing plants’ existing assets, supplement their wages with monthly and year-end profits and pay off the acquisition loan totally out of future profits.
  • EEI principals were invited to the People’s Republic of China, under the auspices of the Commission for Reconstruction of the Economic System, to collaborate with Chinese decision-makers in adapting the ESOP concept to Chinese conditions and to select several enterprises to serve as ESOP pilot projects. EEI principals have also been working closely with former Chinese officials and scholars now living in the United States who were among the vanguard of China’s economic reforms.
  • In May 1989, EEI principals met with leaders of Poland’s Solidarity Union to discuss implementation of ESOPs for privatizing state-owned companies in Poland. In 1990, EEI principals visited the Czech Republic and Hungary to confer with high-level officials and scholars on the EEI approach to economic democratization.
  • EEI assisted USAID in drafting a letter that was sent to all USAID Mission Directors stating USAID policy of promoting ESOPs and encouraging them to pursue the establishment of ESOPs in the countries of their concern.
  • EEI has worked with several key Congressional leaders to include within enterprise zone legislation new tax incentives and central bank discounting reforms to encourage ESOPs and community investment corporations owned by resident-shareholders.
  • EEI is working with community leaders in low-income areas such as in Washington, D.C. and East St. Louis, Illinois to introduce a community investment corporation for enabling local residents to become shareholders in a for-profit, professionally managed land development company and share in profits generated from leasing and other arrangements from new businesses and industries that could be attracted to locate in the community. EEI is also collaborating with Equitech International, LLC to help commercialize advanced waste-to-energy technologies developed in the U.S. space and energy programs as a new economic base for redeveloped communities, and to offer expanded ownership opportunities for workers, local citizens and other stakeholders.
  • EEI principals regularly provide international privatization seminars, workshops and conferences for senior policymakers and executives, for such groups as the International Law Institute, the International Development Law Institute (Rome), the World Institute for Development and Peace, and the International Management Group/INTRADOS.
  • EEI has also conducted seminars for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Central American business school INCAE, the Latin American Chambers of Industry and Commerce, the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Scholars for Political Science and International Studies, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute and various U.S. Congressional committees. Our principals have also spoken before the George Meany Center for Labor Studies, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, the ESOP Association, and the National Center for Employee Ownership.