NEW YORK - June 13, 2016 – The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP represented Cornerstone Controls, Inc. (“Cornerstone” or the “Company”) in a sale of the Company to its newly formed Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Cornerstone, a local business partner for Emerson Process Management, has been providing industrial process control products and services for over 80 years, serving customers in southern Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan. The ESOP transaction has been selected as a Finalist for “Deal of the Year” for the Association for Corporate Growth’s (ACG) 6th Annual Champion’s Awards. Winners will be announced on June 16 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.
The Greenberg Traurig transaction team for the acquisition was led by shareholders Jeffrey S. Kahn, Rebecca DiStefano, and Brandon Feingold, in Boca Raton, and Marc Baluda, in San Francisco. The investment banking firm of CSG Partners worked closely with the Greenberg Traurig team and was led by Managing Director, George Thacker.
Greenberg Traurig provided counsel in the areas of plan design, finance, tax, employee benefits and other matters related to the Company’s ESOP structure. The firm also advised in the areas of corporate and ERISA fiduciary duties.
Kasey Kuhlman, President of Cornerstone, stated “This is an exciting time for Cornerstone and our associates. Our employees always have been, and will continue to be, the key to our success. They are now empowered, more than ever, to ensure the continuation of the success we have enjoyed. We are grateful for the expertise, counsel and attention to detail that Greenberg Traurig brought to our ESOP transaction.”
Jeffrey S. Kahn, Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s ESOP Practice Group, who led the Cornerstone legal transaction team, commented, "We were extremely fortunate to have been able to work with Cornerstone on this transition to employee ownership.” Kahn further said, "The ESOP was an ideal program to best meet the long-term Company objectives and a perfect fit for Cornerstone’s existing culture."
ESOPs are qualified retirement plans that primarily invest in company stock for the benefit of the employees, providing an ownership stake in the company. 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).
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GTLaw) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. One firm worldwide, GTLaw has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and among the Top 20 on the 2016 Am Law Global 100. Web: www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law.