BrewDog boss to give £100m of shareholding to employees

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Unconventional initiatives: BrewDog co-founder pledges to give £100m of shareholding to team members
Unconventional initiatives: BrewDog co-founder pledges to give £100m of shareholding to team members

Related tags Beer Finance Brewdog James watt

BrewDog chief executive and co-founder James Watt has pledged to give £100m of his personal stake in the company to team members, and BrewDog bars will now also share 50% of their profits with those who work in them.

The aim of the initiative, which was laid out in The BrewDog Blueprint,​ was to fully recognise the hard work the “fantastic team” put into the business, and ensure a collective win.

BrewDog will share 5% of the company’s equity, which comes to almost £100m, with its team members, with all the shares coming directly from Watt’s shareholding.

This means 3.7m shares in BrewDog will be distributed evenly among all salaried team members, with each of them receiving about £30,000 per year in shares across the next four years, with the first award of shares due in June 2022.

This is worth around £120,000 person over the next for years, yet BrewDog said if the company continued to grow strongly, that value could be considerably more.

Treating people like business owners

Following this announcement, BrewDog is 25% owned by its team members and the Equity Punk community, who collectively are the largest shareholder.

What’s more, each BrewDog bar will now share 50% of its profits with team members. “We want to incentivise our amazing people to act like business owners, by rewarding them just like business owners,” a company spokesperson said.

In The Brewdog Blueprint,​ Watt commented: “We believe our long-term destiny is determined by how well we look after our amazing people, and while we have made some mistakes along the way, this belief is now even more central to our ambitions.

A new business model

“We are determined to create a completely new type of business model. One where our team members are truly connected to the business, and where every single person in the team benefits from the growth and success that we collectively create.”

For Watt, BrewDog had always been about doing things in a radically different way, building the business and a “brave and uncompromising manner”, with people and create beer at its core. According to Watt, the business’ most unconventional initiatives have always proved to be its most pivotal.

“To that end, the two new people initiatives that we are launching today are my two favourite things that we have ever done as a business,” he concluded.

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