Aaron Chase and Alvin Chase, Jr., are proud to announce that they have transitioned their company, Eastern Tire and Auto Service, to a 100% employee-owned company through its newly created Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Founded in 1946, the Company is the leading provider of independent auto repair and tire service in Midcoast Maine. On the day of signing, Alvin Chase observed: “For 77 years, Eastern Tire and Auto Service has played a significant role in the lives of our employees, generations of customers and our community ; my brother, our families and I are very proud of what the business has accomplished to date. This transfer of stewardship is a natural progression. Because of this transaction, we know that the Company will prosper and thrive for future generations, while continuing its culture of commitment.”
Kris Smit, the Company’s CFO, added, “Instead of two owners ‘in the store,’ there will now be more than a dozen, including Aaron & Alvin, as both will be staying on for years to come.” We fully expect this arrangement to foster decades of quality service, delivered with the exact and genuine pattern of integrity. ”
Susan Scherbel, Bellview Associates, who advised the Company and, with her team, has assisted over a hundred other New England companies in their ESOP transactions, added, “This transaction is becoming incredibly popular. As owners approach retirement, they are able to undertake seamless transitions and continue their businesses, using tax benefits to facilitate the transfer.” In the past 10 years, over 100 Maine companies have undertaken ESOP transactions. Maine ESOPs have positively influenced the futures of employees in construction, medicine, retail, insurance, marine companies, manufacturers, marketing, engineering, solar power, real estate, and now tires! Activity is robust as these companies thrive and outperform their non-ESOP peers. 100% SOP-owned companies are generally free from tax and it is hard for a taxable company to compete against a company that is free from tax.
When asked about the auto service and tire sector, Ms. Scherbel responded: “This is our third transaction in this industry—and we are excited about doing more—it seems like a really natural fit.”
The Company joins many other prominent Mid-coast companies that are ESOP-owned, including Allen Insurance and Financial, Prock Marine, Steel-Pro, Bean Maine Lobster, and Port Harbor Marine.