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Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are qualified retirement plans that invest primarily in employer securities of the corporation that establishes the ESOP.

An ESOP is a unique planning vehicle since it is both a financial tool and a retirement plan. Congress has created many special tax incentives designed to encourage the establishment of ESOPs and the concomitant increased employee ownership by employees who are participants in the ESOP. These tax incentives, when combined with the fiduciary rules imposed on retirement plans by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), create a tangled web of great financial opportunity and traps for the unwary.

The ESOP practice at K&L Gates has been involved with ESOPs and related transactions since their inception and brings to bear on behalf of its clients the benefit of over 30 years of experience. The ESOP practice provides a complete range of services relating to ESOPs, including the establishment of ESOPs, the structuring of corporate transactions involving ESOPs, fiduciary issues relating to ESOPs, S-Corporations as they relate to ESOPs, and the special tax opportunities associated with ESOP transactions.

Areas of Practice

NameTitleOfficeContact
Associate
P +1.206.370.8068
Partner
P +61.2.9513.2356
Partner
P +1.202.778.9244
Senior Associate
P +61.7.3233.1251
Partner
P +61.2.9513.2367
Partner
P +49.(0)30.220.029.305
Partner
P +1.412.355.6536
Partner
P +1.412.355.6720
Partner
P +1.202.778.9149
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Represented ESOP Trustee in connection with the acquisition of 100 percent of the equity of ACCO Engineered Systems.
Represented ESOP Trustee in connection with the acquisition by the STV Corporation ESOP of 100 percent of the equity of STV Corporation through a going-private transaction and subsequent S-Corporation election by the ESOP.
Represented ESOP Trustee in connection with the acquisition of 100 percent of the equity of Schreiber Foods, Inc. in a Section 1042 tax deferred transaction and subsequent S-corporation election.
Represented ESOP Trustee in connection with the acquisition of 100 percent of the stock of Marine Mechanical Corporation.
Represented the company in connection with establishment of an ESOP to buy stock from members of management and certain outside investors.
Represented the company in taking a NYSE company private through a leveraged ESOP transaction for $250 million. This transaction was a joint labor and management ESOP transaction.
Represented the management group in a leveraged ESOP acquisition of the specialty metals subsidiary of Colt Industries.
Represented ESOP Trustee in connection with the refinancing of $1 billion ESOP debt.
Represented ESOP Trustee in connection with the refinancing of The Northern Trust Company's ESOP debt.
Represented ESOP Trustee in connection with the refinancing of Pharmacia & Upjohn's ESOP debt.