Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Clifton Park, NY, Kitware, Inc. provides customized scientific and AI software solutions to a customer base ranging from large government agencies to small start-up businesses. Kitware has more than 200 employees in offices in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Lyon, France. Starting with five original founders, the Company has grown exponentially over the years and has always maintained an employee-centric culture.
An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) seemed an ideal fit for Kitware, as the Company’s Shareholders and Board of Directors – including the five original founders – sought a solution that would strengthen its commitment to employees and also allow the Company to remain independent.
Kitware engaged SES ESOP Strategies’ affiliated law firm, Stevens & Lee, to provide legal work for a 100% ESOP transaction that was structured and led by SC&H Capital. All Company stock was purchased by the ESOP and the transaction closed Nov. 30, 2020. As a result of becoming a 100% ESOP-owned S Corporation, Kitware now enjoys the benefits of operating as a tax-exempt business enterprise due to the tax-exempt status of the ESOP as the company’s sole shareholder.
“Our employees have contributed so much to our success, and we are pleased to reward their innovation and passion through employee ownership,” said Lisa Avila, Kitware Co-Founder and CEO. “Stevens & Lee was a great partner throughout the transaction, and we were happy to have them guide us through this important transition.”