Kemp Bros. Construction, Inc. Now 100% Employee-Owned Through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan
After 126 years: four generations of private family ownership, Kemp Bros. Construction goes ESOP.
Kemp Bros Construction Company, Inc. (“Kemp”) has become 100% employee-owned through its newly created Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”). The Company was founded in 1896 in Whittier, California as a general contractor, providing quality building services to clients throughout the Southern California market. Two generations of Kemp’s owned the business before the Solaas family acquired control of the firm in 1978.
After 45 years of steady growth and improvement, the shareholders of Kemp decided to transition 100% of the Company’s total stock ownership to the employees of the Company. The transfer was made through a qualified retirement plan known as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”). Kemp has now joined an elite group of 100% employee-owned companies across the United States.
According to Greg Solaas, Kemp’s CEO, “Each employee of Kemp is a valued and trusted team member. I wanted all our employees to be part of something special and to feel as though they own and operate their own business. Having a stake in the company’s continued growth and improvement will foster tremendous pride in the organization. I also wanted our hard-working and loyal team members to benefit beyond their wages alone, as they help grow Kemp’s future. Together we strive to be safe, efficient, innovative, competitive, and responsive to our clients’ needs. I decided to implement the ESOP plan because it was the best path forward for the employees and managers of the Company. It allowed a transfer of ownership that protected the Kemp legacy, while also preserving continuity of leadership and our unique family feel. As a result of the ESOP transaction, the American dream of individual business ownership is alive and well here at Kemp.”
Kemp was advised by Ambrose Advisors, a national investment banking firm specializing in employee ownership transactions. Michael Harden, Senior Managing Director with Ambrose Advisors, stated “Greg Solaas’ goal was to secure a sustainable future for the Company in a manner that would be highly beneficial to its managers, employees, clients, and the community. Employee ownership, when done right, benefits all stakeholders and should be celebrated. It is a true win/win transaction for all parties involved and we were pleased to be a part. We heartily congratulate Kemp and thank them for trusting Ambrose Advisors to manage this transition process.” Holzman Horner PLLC acted as legal counsel in connection with the transaction.
About: Kemp Bros. Construction, Inc. – The company founded in 1896 in Whittier, California as a general contractor providing services to the public and private sector clients throughout the Southern California market. The Solaas family acquired the business in 1978. Greg Solaas will remain Kemp’s CEO. kempbros.com
About: Ambrose Advisors – The company is a nationally recognized middle-market investment bank and financial advisory firm, focused on guiding and assisting business owners with ownership succession planning, including through employee ownership. AmbroseAdvisors.com
About: Holzman Horner PLLC – is a business law firm specialized in ESOPs. holzmanhorner.com