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 First ESOP/EOT-style business transfer to employees
 in Germany

The first ESOP/EOT-style business transfer to employees has been reported in Germany.

The ESOP mechanism has since 1974 been used extensively in the USA. In 2014, the UK introduced the EOT mechanism, a kind of simplified ESOP. These mechanisms enable the ownership of a company to be sold to employees without them having to pay a penny out of their own pockets.


Now Germany has followed suit:

Klaus Eberhardt and Marke Goerke founded the IT company Iteratec in 1996. In 2018, the founders announced that they were retiring. At the time, the company employed almost 400 people and had an equity of close to €10 million.
The founders proposed creating a holding company that in turn would own the company on behalf of all the employees. The cooperative company Iteratec-Nurdemteam was set up for this purpose in 2018. The cooperative's name reflected the founders' desire to sell their company "only to the team" of employees (in German "nur dem Team").
In 2019, the founders sold a first 49% stake in the company to the employees' holding company. They provided the necessary financing to do this. The loan will then be paid back over the subsequent years through the cooperative's 49% share of the company's profits.
In 2024, we are preparing to sell the remaining 51% of the company to the holding company, just as we did with the first tranche. The ultimate aim is to complete the sale to employees by 2027.

In conclusion, the stages observed at Iteratec are very similar to those that characterise the ESOP/EOT mechanisms that are becoming common worldwide.

We can do that here too!

See Iteratec and Iteratec-Nurdemteam for more information

Press review
A selection of 28 remarkable articles in 11 countries in April 2024: Canada, Czechia, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, UK, USA, South Africa.
Canada: Looking forward to a first “made in Canada” Employee Ownership Trust.
Czechia: An inventory of the legislation for employee share ownership.
Germany: The results of the new legislation are not yet there.
France: Employee share ownership has declined for the twelfth year in a row. Cocorico for TotalEnergies. Business transfer to employees for Bousquié.
Ireland: Sinn Féin in favor of employee ownership for business transfers.
Italy: New employee share plan for ENI.
Norway: A new report from Menon Economics concludes that employee-owned businesses are a strong ownership model with many advantages.
Slovenia: Two bills are in preparation.
UK: Thanks to the Employee Ownership Trust scheme, every day a new SME is transferred to employees. This month, among others, the case of: Cofficient IT, Associated Architects, EDC Air Compressors, DITT Construction, Industry Club Recruitment, 7N Architects, CPC Construction Management, BullsEye car parts and accessories, Liberty Leasing.
USA: Employee ownership trusts are one of the fastest growing forms of employee ownership in the US, following the pattern of the UK.
South Africa: Employee share plans have gained ground in recent years.

The full press review is available on:


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Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
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EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee share ownership and participation in Europe.