Date: 22nd May 2020

Brussels, 22 May 2020 - With the current crisis calling for a tightening of the link between employees and their companies, especially in the case of SMEs, BETTER FINANCE’s member organisation  EFES, the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership, launched a concrete proposal on how to co-opt Employee Share Ownership (ESO) to help fund companies under threat of bankruptcy from the pandemic and complement governments in their struggle against the fallout from the crisis.

At an enormous cost to the taxpayer, across the EU, unprecedented, but necessary, state aid is being rolled out, aimed at helping companies navigate cash flow problems and avoid bankruptcy. But what if these colossal sums could be put to better, more efficient use, helping employees become shareholders in the businesses?

The European economy is in dire need of an ESO model that would enable - like in the United States - inclusive and financially accessible leveraged employee buyouts of part or even all of their own company.

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