Hypertherm Transitions to a 100 Percent Employee-owned Company
Etna Rd., P.O. Box 5010
Hanover, NH, 03755 0010
Press release date: January 14, 2014
HANOVER, NH – Hypertherm, a U.S. based manufacturer of plasma, laser, and waterjet cutting systems, today announced the transfer of all its common stock into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making the company 100 percent employee owned under an S-Corporation structure.
Previously, Hypertherm’s ESOP, known internally as the Hypertherm Stock Ownership Plan or HSOP, held approximately one-third of the company’s stock. Controlling shareholders Dick and Barbara Couch created the plan in 2001, followed by a Global Stock Value Program (GSVP) for international associates in 2004.
With the redemption and purchase of all remaining shares into the HSOP, Dick and Barbara Couch seek to ensure the continuation of Hypertherm as an independent company living its core values and pursuing the long-term interests of its customers, associates and communities. Hypertherm’s “associate-owners,” already known for their customer focus, will be even more committed to providing the world’s leading industrial cutting solutions and to building long-term customer relationships founded on technology and service leadership.
“The well-being of our associates and shared rewards have been cultural cornerstones of Hypertherm since our founding in 1968,” said Dick Couch, founder and chief executive officer. “Having the HSOP and GSVP own 100 percent of the company’s stock is a natural extension and completion of the journey we began in 2001.”
“We have witnessed the amazing power of associate ownership since we launched the HSOP and GSVP,” added Barbara Couch, Hypertherm’s vice president of corporate social responsibility. “We are delighted to transition ownership to our associates, who are best positioned to ensure that Hypertherm builds upon our strong culture, passion for technology and customer service, and commitment to our communities.”
Hypertherm is not planning any changes to its management structure. Dick Couch will remain chairman of the board of directors, chief executive officer, and trustee of the HSOP. Barbara Couch will remain a member of the board, vice president of corporate social responsibility, and president of the Hypertherm HOPE Foundation, a philanthropic 501(c)(3).
Hypertherm designs and manufactures advanced cutting products for use in a variety of industries such as shipbuilding, manufacturing, and automotive repair. Its product line includes handheld and mechanized plasma systems and consumables, as well as fiber laser and now waterjet products, in addition to CNC motion and height controls and CAM cutting software. Hypertherm systems are trusted for performance and reliability that result in increased productivity and profitability for hundreds of thousands of businesses. The New Hampshire based company’s reputation for cutting innovation dates back more than 45 years, to 1968, with Hypertherm’s invention of water injection plasma cutting. The associate owned company, consistently named one of the best places to work in America, has more than 1,300 associates along with operations and partner representation worldwide.
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