Jim Steiker, founder of SES and of our sister law firm of Steiker, Greenapple, & Fusco, P.C., has focused his law practice on employee-owned companies and socially responsible businesses for 25 years. Jim represented a group of independent, socially-motivated investors who attempted to take Ben & Jerry’s private in lieu of a proposed sale of the company to a large competitor. He later represented Ben Cohen, one of the company’s founders, in the sale to Unilever in 2000 and helped negotiate Unilever’s ongoing commitments to Ben & Jerry’s social mission.
“The Truth About Ben and Jerry’s,” a recent article published by two Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professors in the Stamford Social Innovation Review, argues that “B” corporations and other new corporate forms that allow directors to consider public benefit and social mission in determining whether to accept buyout offers are unnecessary, and cite Ben & Jerry’s as an example. Jim’s reply and rebuttal to this misleading article, written from the perspective of someone who was part of the sale process, was published in today’s CSRwire blog, the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire.