Doyle and five other shareholders sold 48 percent of the company's shares to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan to preserve Harpoon's independence and culture, according to co-founder and president
"Every successful private business faces this kind of thing -- a transition ownership change," said Kenary, who started Harpoon with Doyle in 1986. "We've had a number of companies approach us about either buying the entire business or making a significant investment. The ESOP does all three things that we care about."
The ESOP provides liquidity for selling shareholders, continuity of management and a solid framework for future growth, Kenary said.
"The subject of what's going to happen to the company is off the shelf," he said. "The employees own the company and, hopefully sometime in the future, they'll own 100 percent."
The nation's 12th largest craft brewer, Harpoon has 187 full-time employees.
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