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Everyone of La Redouteís 1.000 employee shareholders will get 100.000 euro !

This news is doing the rounds in France and beyond, as you can see in our press review.

The story began in 2013 when La Redoute was on the verge of bankruptcy. The employees took over and 1,000 of them invested a few euro. Today they have turned the company around and Galeries Lafayette is now offering millions to buy it back.

These figures are spectacular and unheard of on our shores. But they are common in Anglo-Saxon countries where employee share ownership is widespread in SMEs, unlike in continental Europe. That becomes evident when ESOP participants retire or when there is an IPO.

It seems likely that employee ownership will become popular also in European SMEs, in fact this process has already started.

However, there is no lottery or magic in this. Employees who also co-own their companies are more innovative, work harder and are more motivated. Then there is the control premium, what a buyer is ready to offer to obtain control of a company. For Galeries Lafayette, that is 100 million for La Redoute.

Is employees giving up control of their company in exchange for a big pile of cash a good idea? The future will tell.

We still remember the case of good trade unionists who, together with their colleagues, controlled 10% of a medium-sized Irish bank. They were the majority shareholder. They could not resist the temptation of the prize that Royal Bank of Scotland paid them for their share. Unfortunately, they soon realized that with 1% of RBS, they no longer mattered. Donít forget how badly that ended.

Press review
We have a selection of 26 remarkable articles in 9 countries in February 2023: Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, UK, USA.
Canada: The Canadian Employee Ownership Coalition is calling on the federal government to make Employee Ownership Trusts a reality in its Budget 2023 as it is in the USA and in the UK.
Germany: 85% of employee share plans generate at least a 50% return over ten years.
France: The 1,000 employee shareholders of La Redoute will share 100 million euros.
Luxembourg: Is the jackpot for employee shareholders of La Redoute possible in Luxembourg?
Netherlands: The STAK is for long the equivalent of the Employee Ownership Trust in the Netherlands; however its use for business transfers has been lost.
Norway: Annual employee share purchase plan for Veidekke.
Spain: New trouble for Mondragon as two industrial co-ops leave the Group.
UK: Thanks to the Employee Ownership Trust scheme, every day a new SME is transferred to employees. This month, among others, the case of: Harper McDermott, Archway Veterinary Centre, Warrant Group, Kudos Records, Livingston James, Warwick Auctioneers, Connick Tree Care, TwoTwenty Staircases, Talk Training, Sewell Estates, Hanson Buildings.
The great resources of European lobbying for stock options in startups.
USA: How an ESOP works. A new model: Private equity and employee ownership.

The full press review is available on:


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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 791 96 00
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EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee share ownership and participation in Europe.