AVEKA group announces formation of ESOP

AVEKA Group, Inc., a contract manufacturing and research and development company based out of Woodbury, MN with a plant facility located in northeast Waukon, has announced that the company has become an S Corporation ESOP (employee stock ownership plan), effective October 15, 2019. In the transaction, prior investors sold 100% of their ownership interest to a newly created Employee Stock Ownership Trust, allowing current and future employees to gain a beneficial ownership interest in the company.

Effectively, the ESOP is a qualified retirement plan which, based on company performance, could generate significant retirement benefits for AVEKA Group’s approximately 280 employee owners.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Willie Hendrickson, CEO and Founder of AVEKA, said, “It’s amazing to see the company after 25 years and what better than to reward the employees with a larger stake in the company. At the end of the day, the employees are what has made AVEKA the place to go for powder processing.”

Marie Jorissen, President of AVEKA Group, who will continue in her current position, also noted, “Becoming an ESOP will give our employees a financial interest in the success of the business and make the bonds between employees even stronger. Today, we are a robust competitor and leader in the powder processing industry, based primarily on our innovation-driven culture that places safety, customer service and quality at the top of our priority list. Delivering unparalleled service requires great employees who are focused and dedicated to the business at hand. That clearly describes our team, and we are thrilled to be able to provide this benefit to them.”

Hendrickson, who will also continue in his current position, noted: “An ESOP is an attractive way in which to assure the continuation of our top-notch customer service model, help retain and attract valued employees, and enhance our overall productivity and profitability. We expect the ESOP to increase the retirement security of our employee owners, particularly as we continue on the growth path we have enjoyed over the last 25 years.”

AVEKA Group, Inc. specializes in contract manufacturing of particulate materials for the chemical, food, personal care, automotive, microelectronic and agricultural markets. AVEKA has a wide variety of unit operations that range from spray drying, milling, screening and blending. The company has grown to 280 employees by applying an engineering and innovative approach to solving complex manufacturing problems, coupled with a full quality system. AVEKA started as a spin off from 3M in an 8,000 square foot pilot plant in Woodbury, MN to adding sites in Fredericksburg, Cresco and Waukon in Iowa, and also in Cottage Grove and Hastings in Minnesota that are now comprised of 342,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, office and laboratory infrastructure.

An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a type of retirement and benefit plan that gives employee’s ownership interest in the business. An ESOP is a popular way to give employees a stake in the business’s success. At a predetermined time, shares are given (at no upfront cost) to each eligible employee based on the number of years with the company, pay scale or some other allocation. The plan is designed to motivate the employee to increase the stock value, and in turn, increase the employee’s share value.

The longer the employee is at the company, the more shares they will obtain, which tends to reduce turnover. The shares for an employee stock ownership plan are held in a trust until the employee exits the company or retires. After their exit, the shares are bought back by the company for further distribution to other employees. For more information about how an ESOP works, visit https://www.esopassociation.org/.
 

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