GARDNER Denver Inc. is being traded on the New York Stock Exchange after a four-year hiatus, and about 6,000 employees globally are now sharing in company stock valued at more than $100 million.
In Quincy, the announcement awarding employees stock ownership as part of the company’s initial public offering (IPO) meant that about 270 workers previously not part of the management equity program initially saw their collective assets increase by an estimated $5.4 million, an unexpected bonus averaging $20,000 each. “I think it’s a testament to the owners’ commitment to the employees,” Matt Schneider, a business unit manager for the water pump division, told The Herald-Whig. Moreover, it is a positive sign of a company poised for growth.
Gardner Denver was founded in Quincy in 1859 by Robert Gardner, who built speed controls for steam engines. As the nation began drilling for oil and moving to internal combustion engines, the company began to build drilling pumps, high-speed vertical air compressors and steam engines, and other highly engineered equipment.
Gardner Denver has experienced a roller-coaster series of highs and lows during the past decade, but the new stock offering and employee stock sharing moves seem to portend a welcome rise in the company’s fortunes.