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News | June 15, 2023
2 minute read

Warner Represented DornerWorks in Its Transition to an ESOP

Warner Norcross + Judd LLP represented DornerWorks Ltd., a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based tech firm, in its sale to employees through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) on June 2, 2023.

David Dorner started his electronic engineering and technology business part time in his basement over two decades ago during summers while he taught full time at Calvin University. The company excelled and he was able to leave the university to run DornerWorks full time.

Dorner wanted to reward his employees for their loyalty and share the value and wealth that’s been created.

“I didn’t want to just sell the company as an asset on the open market,” Dorner said. “It comes down to the fact that the company, I feel, is really my baby, so to speak. I didn’t view it just as an asset. I view it as part of my family. It’s a great way for me to feel healthy and excited about exiting by selling it to the employees because the culture stays the same and I get to be part of its life as it continues on.”

Dorner will remain chairman of DornerWorks board.

DornerWorks employs 110 people and provides embedded electronics and software engineering solutions for clients in the aerospace, automotive, medical device and other industries. Learn more here.

To read the Crain’s Grand Rapids Business article, click here.

Warner served as legal counsel to DornerWorks in the ESOP deal. The Warner transaction team was led by Justin Stemple and included Johnny Pinjuv and Rob Davies.

Warner’s Employee Benefits Practice Group

As one of the largest Employee Benefits law practices in Michigan, we offer a team who has seen it all before and has up-to-the-minute expertise – including in such highly specialized areas as ESOPs and pensions. Whether you are a Fortune 100 company, small or family-owned business, nonprofit, government entity or service provider, and wherever you are in the country, we can help you design, develop, manage and maintain retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and executive compensation programs that will keep you both compliant and competitive. And we promise that we will do so in a cost-effective, fee-flexible way.