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

After Great Britain, after Germany, here is a third European country. A first ESOP/EOT-style business transfer is reported in Ireland.

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 collective employee ownership mechanisms enable the ownership of a company to be sold to employees without them having to pay a cent out of their own pockets.

Now Ireland has followed suit: Wolfgang Digital has become the first Irish-owned company to transition to employee ownership via an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Wolfgang Digital marketing company was founded by Alan Coleman in 2007 and employs 70 staff today.

The "Wolfgang Talent Trust" has acquired 25% of the shares in Wolfgang Digital and all employees who have been working for the agency for more than 12 months have become “partners” in the Trust. This will allow them have a say in how the agency is run while also giving them a share of profits every three months. In addition, a portion of profits each year will be used to fund future share purchases by the trust which, all going according to plan, will become the majority owner within 10 years.

Each team within the business has elected a representative who can bring their insights and ideas to any decision-maker within Wolfgang Digital. The employee representatives will elect trust board members from among them who will be the ultimate decision-makers on behalf of the trust.

More information about Wolfgang Digital and the new Wolfgang Talent Trust

Press review
A selection of 31 remarkable articles in 9 countries in May 2024: Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Romania, UK, USA.
Bulgaria: Employee share ownership is attracting increasing interest in Bulgaria.
Canada: Looking forward to a first “made in Canada” Employee Ownership Trust.
Finland: The popularity of Finnish "personnel funds" has increased in recent years.
France: New employee share plans for Voltalia, for Société Générale, for Engie, for Bel, for Ipsen, for Tournaire. Employees of the Morassuti printing works are trying to take over their business by creating a workers' coop.
Ireland: Wolfgang Digital Becomes the First Irish Employee Ownership Trust
Italy: The CFI is the financial body established by the Marcora Law in 1986; in 2023, 10 worker buyout projects were supported. Misery of philosophy.
Romania: Employee share ownership is attracting increasing interest in Romania.
UK: Valloop Exchange platform is digitising the transition to employee ownership.
Thanks to the Employee Ownership Trust formula, one or two new SMEs are transferred to their employees every day. This month, among others, the case of: Wildfire Technology, Tops Day Nurseries, T&N Gilmartin Construction, Parkhouse Bell Recruitment, Plus Finance, Babel Public Relation, Veterinary PR, Planet Logistics. RM² presents the reasons to consider an all employee Share Incentive Plan.
USA: Private Equity: KKR is embarking on an ambitious plan to take its employee ownership program worldwide. Why employee-owned companies make sense in manufacturing.

The full press review is available on:


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Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 791 96 00
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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.