US boatbuilder becomes 100% employee-owned

Manufacturer of aluminium watercraft, SAFE Boats International has completed a transaction that transfers 100 per cent of the company’s ownership to its employees. The SAFE Boats International Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) has acquired the company, completing the journey that started in late 2022. 

SAFE Boats says it has experienced dramatic growth since its beginning in 1996 and now has more than 250 employee-owners in two locations.

“It has always been our dream and our vision to make SAFE Boats International about our team and the community we live in,” says co-founder Scott Peterson. “Transitioning to a 100 per cent employee-owned company creates the foundation to become a true Northwest legacy.

“This allows an incredibly talented and dedicated SAFE Boats team to continue supporting the men and women in uniform around the world for generations to come.”

The company has been awarded several high-profile contracts, including the USCG Response Boat-Small (540 boats), USCG Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement (58 boats), US Customs and Border Protection Coastal Interceptor Vessel (52 boats), and the flagship USN MK VI Patrol Boat (12 boats for the US Navy and eight boats for the Ukrainian Navy).

Richard Schwarz, CEO, adds: “Employee ownership through an ESOP is the ultimate opportunity for the company’s employee-owners to share in that success. In the end, it is our team that makes our company what it is, and it is only appropriate that they benefit from the results of their contributions.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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