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H-E-B to grant stock to employees

Eligible H-E-B employees will become part owners of the company as part of its 110-year anniversary. Courtesy Photo

As part of its 110th anniversary celebration, the H-E-B grocery chain announced a joint ownership plan for its employees. Some 55,000 employees will be eligible to buy a portion of stock in the state’s largest private company.

H-E-B was founded in Kerrville in 1905 by Florence Butt. Her youngest son, Howard Edward Butt lead the company from 1920 to 1971 and is where the company got its eponymous initials. While the Butt family will remain primary owners, employees, who are known as Partners, will eventually own 15 percent of the company.

"The Partner Stock Plan is a milestone and a recognition of our most important resource – our people," said Charles Butt, H‑E‑B Chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Our Partners are the competitive edge that brings innovation, growth, and success to H‑E‑B. This plan has been my dream for decades. It is a gift that recognizes our Partners' ongoing commitment to H‑E‑B. Our Partners shaped our past, define our present and will lead us into the future.”

Beginning in January 2016, eligible partners will receive a grant of stock valued at 3 percent of their salary, plus $100 in stock value for each year of continuous service completed by the end of 2015. Afterward, yearly contributions can be made based on performance. Eligible partners must be at least 21 years old, have completed at least one year of service and worked at least 1,000 hours in a calendar year

"This historic offering reflects our commitment to our Partners and the communities we serve,” said Craig Boyan, H‑E‑B President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are anchored in our mission to hire the best people, offer the best service, provide the best products at budget sensitive prices, and operate our business in a way that reflects our deeply ingrained value system."

H-E-B has long practiced what it calls its “spirit of giving” by donating over 5 percent of pretax earnings annually to non-profit organizations and community initiatives. Employees, each year, have donated more than 100,000 volunteer hours in support of local programs.

The company operates more than 370 stores in Texas and Mexico, including H-E-B, Central Market, H-E-B Plus!, Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda. More than 86,000 employees work for its stores in Texas, with another 9,000 employed in Mexico.

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