Bandit Industries announced on June 7 they would sell 100 percent of the company to their employees in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).  Under the ESOP, Bandit, a maker of woodchippers and other wood waste processors, will retain its current leadership.
The announcement comes after two previous attempts to sell Bandit Industries – once to another manufacturer and once to a private investment firm.
“We realized neither was a good fit for Bandit, so we made the decision to sell to our trusted employees,” said co-owner Dianne Morey. “It will be fun to watch our crew take it to the next level,” said co-owner and company founder Mike Morey, who developed the first Bandit chipper in 1983.
Seemingly a growing trend within the woodworking industry, ESOP firms are on the rise. In May, Wisconsin’s KI Furniture became one of the nation’s largest companies to sell to its employees. Whitewood Industries and Stevens Industries are also 100 percent employee-owned.
Bandit Industries employs 400 people in over 280,000 feet of manufacturing space in Remus, Michigan. The company has built over 50,000 machines for customers in 56 countries around the world. Machines include hand-fed chippers, stump grinders, whole tree chippers, horizontal grinders, track carriers and skid steer attachments.
Read more at Woodworking Network