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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Heartland Launches Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Have you ever been in a restaurant with lousy service and realized that not a single person in the place really cares? That should not be the case at any of the Heartland Brewery locations in New York City if founder and Chief Executive Officer Jon Bloostein and his partners go forward with an employee stock ownership plan proposal they announced this week.

Under the plan Heartland will continue to be managed by Bloostein but, 49 percent of the company's stock will be transferred to 380 employees. Corporate Solutions Group, a New York investment banking house, put together the transaction.

Bloostein said he had looked at finding a partner to buy into the chain and had considered offering stock to the public, but decided on the deal to employees. Heartland was founded in 1995 on Union Square and has five locations in Manhattan. The company also recently launched the Spanky's BBQ brand.

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