Atlanta Business Journal – Choate Construction moves towards 100% employee-ownership

From the Atlanta Business Journal

One of Atlanta’s top private companies ranked by companywide revenue will soon be 100 percent employee owned.

Atlanta-based Choate Construction Co. reported it is transferring beneficial ownership via the newly created Choate Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Trust.

Company founder Millard Choate said the firm was “solicited continuously over the years by larger contractors to sell the company, but [they] decided to keep the business in the family, to perpetuate [its] culture of excellence.”

“We are blessed to be able to implement this structure to express our dedication to our exemplary employees,” he said in a statement. “This will provide individual financial security as well as preserve the entrepreneurial spirit that has always permeated this company. The ESOP allows us to take this spirit to the next level, while also ensuring our vision, core values, and management team stays intact.”

Millard Choate will move from president to chairman and CEO, while Dave Priester will become president and chief operating officer. The management team will remain intact.

Choate Construction was advised by New York-based CSG Partners, a boutique investment bank specializing in ESOPs.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle Book of Lists, Choate Construction is Atlanta’s No. 19 top private company ranked by companywide revenue. The company reported 2015 companywide revenue of $785.69 million.