Fourteen years ago, the owners of West Grove-based Dansko refused a $150 million offer from Timberland and instead sold 100 percent of the company’s shares to an employee stock ownership plan, writes Susan Adams for Forbes.
Mandy Cabot and her Danish husband, Peter Kjellerup, had built the company, known for its closed-back wooden clogs, from scratch.
As the company began to flourish, the two started to worry about their lack of a succession plan. So they started exploring the option of selling the company to their employees through an ESOP. However, offers from other companies started to pour in, including one from Timberland.
Cabot felt compelled to seriously consider Timberland’s offer. But when the word of the sale leaked out, she was inundated with calls from people who would be impacted by it, including her employees.
This was all she needed to pull back from the deal with Timberland, and when growth picked up again in 2012, she sold the company shares to the ESOP.
“Our employees are the heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears of the company,” said Cabot.
Read more about Dansko in Forbes here.