Birkenstock USA completes ESOP buyout of former owner

Birkenstock Footprint Sandals is now 100 percent owned by its employees.

Birkenstock Footprint Sandals, the importer and distributor of Birkenstock footwear from Germany, is now 100 percent owned by its employees. Margot Fraser, who founded the company 35 years ago, began seeking a means to exit the company and provide for her employees back in 1993. She opted for an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and with the assistance of a board of trustees made up of Birkenstock employees, enabled the ESOP which acquired 10 percent of the business. In 1997, the ESOP acquired an additional 30 percent and in March of this year, the board put into action the plan to purchase all of Fraser's remaining shares.



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