After three generations of ownership, the well-known grower, packer, and shipper Tanimura & Antle says it will be now be employee owned.
It’s launching an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which will allow employees to become partial owners of the company. Tanimura & Antle is one of the first grower-packer-shippers in U.S. history to share company ownership with all qualified, domestic employees, from seed to sale.
“Our employees are not only our single greatest asset, they’re also an extension of our families,” says Rick Antle, CEO, Tanimura & Antle, in the operation’s press release. “By offering employee ownership, we are upholding the legacy of our founding families and preserving and growing the culture that’s been responsible for our success.”
An ESOP is a retirement plan that allows qualified employees to vest into a percentage of ownership of the company. Tanimura & Antle was advised by Brereton, Hanley, & Co. Inc. Investment Banking and ESOP Law Group, LLP. Primary term loan facility was provided by American Ag Credit, with commercial credit facility provided by Bank of America, N.A.
“We evaluated several directions for the next phase of our company,” Antle says. “We are in a dynamic business, and need to build a structure that maintains local control and supports future growth and governance, while ensuring we stay agile and innovative.”
Tanimura & Antle’s roots in the Salinas Valley are deep. The families have worked together for more than a half century, before even the founding of the company. Today, Tanimura & Antle is one of the largest independently owned vegetable grower-packer-shippers in the U.S. In contrast to industry norms, the company endeavors to employ its entire labor force. The company also is committed to providing vital benefits to all its employees, including full medical benefits, 401(k) and affordable housing for agricultural workers. These offerings allow Tanimura & Antle to attract and retain the best employees, as demonstrated by the fact that not only is the ownership of Tanimura & Antle multi-generational, but so is its employee base. More than 1,500 employees have been with the company for more than 10 years, 416 of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years.