One of the largest specialty distribution companies in the United States

With locations throughout the country and a history spanning over 100 years, this very profitable company had been adding product lines and expanding its geographical reach to support the changing demands of its customers. Closely-held, its departing owners were interested in setting up an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to provide a market for their shares.


The ESOP needed to set up a trust fund with borrowed money to buy new/existing shares, with the company making cash contributions to the plan to enable it to repay the loan. This transition to an ESOP required careful planning and clear guidance. Their prior, mid-tier CPA firm wasn’t giving them the guidance they needed and nickel-and-diming them for any tax and audit support.

How did Shea Labagh Dobberstein (SLD) help?

The owners’ anxiety levels were at an all-time high, which is when SLD stepped in. Our firm was big enough to take care of the company’s other locations, yet small enough to give them the attention, responsiveness and timely service they needed for a reasonable fee. SLD understood the ins and outs to structure the transaction and bring about a smooth transition to the ESOP. The owner’s new comfort level cemented our relationship, and they consequently transferred other tax and audit services over to SLD as their trusted service provider.