WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT — Independent book publisher Chelsea Green announced that it has become an employee-owned company, with close to 80 percent of its stock to be held by its employees.
The transaction, completed on June 29, allows a minority portion of the company’s privately held stock to be held by Ian and Margo Baldwin, who founded Chelsea Green in 1984 on the south green in Chelsea, Vermont. Margo Baldwin is currently the company’s president and publisher and will retain that role for the foreseeable future.
“Selling to our employees was the only way we could ensure the company could remain independent and stay in Vermont,” said Margo Baldwin. “Ian and I are thrilled that the company has taken this important step and look forward to working with our employees to continue our mission and to create an even more successful and profitable company in the years to come.”
The Vermont Employee Ownership Center played a key role in making the transaction happen. Chelsea Green first contacted the VEOC in 2005, and Chelsea Green staff members attended several of VEOC’s educational events over the years. After the Baldwins made their decision to form an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), Program Director Don Jamison met with staff earlier this year to describe how an ESOP works and how it can benefit employees and the company.
“It’s wonderful that Chelsea Green has been sold to the employees,” says Jon Crystal, Executive Director of the VEOC. “This new ownership structure will help keep Chelsea Green in Vermont and ensure that the company will retain its independence and important mission of promoting sustainability and resiliency.”
The company joins a growing list of employee-owned businesses in Vermont. They include such well-known companies as King Arthur Flour, Gardener’s Supply, Carris Reels, PC Construction, and Resource Systems Group.
About Chelsea Green Publishing
Founded in 1984, Chelsea Green Publishing is dedicated to the politics and practice of sustainability, and seeks to inspire present and future generations to reduce their ecological impact and to participate in the restoration of local communities, bioregional ecosystems, and a diversity of cultures. To see their complete catalog of books, visit www.chelseagreen.com.