Newton manufacturer to be 100 percent employee-owned

Newton manufacturing company Full Vision will soon be entirely employee-owned, according to its owner.

Peter Benson, the company’s president and owner, said Monday that the metal and medical products manufacturer has established an employee stock ownership plan that could make Full Vision 100 percent employee-owned by the middle of next year.

Benson co-owns the company with his wife, Patty Benson. The couple, who make their home in Dallas, purchased Full Vision in 1997 from the Stucky family, which founded the company in 1958.

“The result of the plan should be to reward and incentivize employees while providing them with significant long-term retirement benefits, and to ensure Full Vision stays in Newton,” Peter Benson said. “The company has been in business for 58 years. Maybe this will help give it another 58 years. Perhaps we’ll even set a precedent.”

With more than 70 employees, Full Vision manufactures various items, including Trackmaster Treadmills, cab enclosures for pieces of machinery, and various other metal fabrication products.

Since 1997, the company’s sales have grown more than 300 percent, according to the release. The Bensons will continue to manage the company during the transition period.

Bruce Armstrong of Menke and Associates in San Francisco, who advised the Bensons on the transition, said in the release that most employee stock option plans start at about the 30 percent ownership level.

“The Full Vision (plan) is one of the few cases nationally where all the company’s stock will be acquired by the employee group,” Armstrong said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Full Vision employees to build equity for their retirement future.”

Bryan Horwath: 316-269-6708, @bryan_horwath