Vehicle Security Innovators (VSI) Completes Successful Sale To Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

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ESOP Partners Assisted VSI With ESOP Sale; Company Now 100% Employee Owned

Vehicle Security Innovators (VSI) ESOP
Working with ESOP Partners provided us the necessary confidence to proceed down the path to employee ownership.

ESOP Partners, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) consulting and administration firm, has announced the successful completion of a sale of Vehicle Security Innovators (VSI), a Green Bay, Wisconsin-based provider of locking security products for the freight and cargo industry, to its employees via an ESOP representing VSI employees.

An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan that buys, holds and sells company stock for the benefit of the employees, providing them with an ownership stake in the company. VSI President Bob Arnold finalized the sale in December 2014 with the assistance of ESOP Partners.

“Working with ESOP Partners provided us the necessary confidence to proceed down the path to employee ownership,” said Arnold. “They helped us navigate unknown seas with confidence.” Arnold sees the sale as a way to reward employees for their role in the company’s success and to enhance its long-term performance.

According to Aaron Juckett, ESOP Partners President, VSI took advantage of his company’s full complement of services and capabilities. “One of the ways the ESOP Partners team adds value to an ESOP sale is to engage at the front end of the process. That means helping plan the sale, structure it and, finally, execute it successfully. By providing insights and contributing from the very beginning, we help ensure that the seller receives maximum cash and tax benefits,” he said.

ESOP Partners will continue to work with VSI as an ESOP consultant and third-party administrator.

About VSI, LLC
VSI has been an industry leader in lock and key services for more than 50 years. Founded in 1948 offering lock and key services in the locksmith industry, VSI began production for automotive and truck locks in 1989 and in 2004 became the primary supplier of vehicle locks to the North American Heavy Truck market.

Today VSI’s Lock & Key Solutions division designs, produces and sells locks and truck security products to all major domestic truck manufacturers and their international affiliates for production and aftermarket. VSI also supports truck fleets and manufacturers of construction equipment, toolboxes, handles, and latches. In 2011, VSI acquired Pop & Lock LLC, the global leader of manual and powered tailgate locks designed for pick-up trucks. In 2012, VSI acquired Simply Keys, a leader in key replacement services. In 2013, VSI acquired Freight Defense, a leading supplier of heavy-duty truck and trailer security products. In 2014, VSI acquired Handyman Marine LLC, a leading supplier of stainless steel fasteners and accessories to the marine industry.

About ESOP Partners
ESOP Partners is an ESOP consulting and administration firm that provides a single ESOP expert as a point of contact throughout the lifecycle of the ESOP. The Company works with business owners and companies considering an ESOP to provide ESOP feasibility, plan design, and full ESOP implementation services. ESOP Partners also provides support for ongoing ESOP companies, including ESOP TPA services, distribution and repurchase obligation planning, and consulting services covering corporate governance, ESOP culture, employee communications, and second stage transactions.

About ESOPs
ESOPs are qualified retirement plans that buy, hold and sell company stock for the benefit of the employees, providing an ownership stake in the company. ESOPs are the only retirement plan allowed to borrow money to purchase stock and are generally funded only by the Company. Selling part or all of a business to an ESOP enables a business owner to sell to a built-in buyer in as little as 60-90 days at full fair market value. There are many significant tax and cash flow benefits of selling to an ESOP. An ESOP also allows for a better-managed ownership transition, preservation of local jobs, and the maintenance of a company’s legacy in the community. According to the ESOP Association there are approximately 10,000 ESOPs in place in the U.S., covering 10.3 million employees (10 percent of the private sector workforce).

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Sarah Trovato
ESOP Partners
+1 (920) 659-7360
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