Buehler’s Supermarkets Enters ESOP
E&H Family Group, parent company of Buehler’s supermarkets, is selling all 13 of its locations to employees in an employee stock ownership program (ESOP). The 2,100 employees will be retained during the transition, and eligible employees will become owners.
“This was a decision we did not take lightly," aid Dan Buehler, president and COO of E&H Family Group. "Our generation of Buehlers are reaching retirement age, and we think this a better option than selling the business to outsiders. We want these supermarkets to be here serving customers and providing good jobs well into the future. There’s no one better qualified than our own employees to carry on that mission. We believe that the transition to an ESOP is a winning solution for the Buehler family, our employees and the communities we serve.”
The ESOP will be operated by the newly formed Buehler’s Fresh Foods, retaining the familiar name and led by an experienced team of Buehler’s veterans, including Dan Shanahan, Buehler’s Fresh Foods president and COO since 2011; Rick Lowe, VP of human resources of E&H Family Group since 1977; and Mike Davidson, VP of store operations since 2015.
Shanahan will be president and CEO of the new company, Lowe will be EVP/CAO and Davidson will be EVP of store operations.
“On behalf of the Buehler’s Fresh Foods team, we are happy for the Buehler family and excited for the opportunity to write the next chapter in the great Buehler story,” said Shanahan.
E&H Family Group, owned by the Buehler family, of Wooster, Ohio, also operates 22 hardware stores in the state under the E&H Ace Hardware name. The sale has no impact on the E&H Hardware Group, which will continue to operate under Buehler family ownership.
“The Buehler family is not going away,” stressed Dan Buehler. “We’ve always been a family- operated independent business that’s very involved in our communities. Our customers are our neighbors and friends. We live in the communities we serve, we’re committed to them, and we will continue to support them.”