Should a fast-growing, employee-owned solar electric company accept a buyout offer from a private equity investor? Could it do so without sacrificing its distinctive, high-involvement culture? Namaste Solar, a 55-person firm based in Boulder, Colorado, designed and installed solar electric systems for residential, commercial, non-profit and government customers. In 2008, the company had been growing … Read More
The firm was meeting to grapple with a thorny issue—whether or not to expand their production capability and, if so, where. Early in its history, LightWorks had set up an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, under which employees gradually built up equity in the closely-held firm.