As Scott Dunbar and Alan Brawn eyed retirement in recent years, they had to make some serious decisions about the Bangor construction company they started 16 years ago. They could sell Dunbar and Brawn Construction to a competitor. They could simply close the doors of their headquarters on Hildreth Street and sell off the property.
Or, as a growing number of Maine companies have done, they could sell their operation to the carpenters, crane operators, mechanics and other workers who make their business run. They chose the third option, which has become an increasingly common approach for business owners who are nearing retirement.
On Friday, more than 60 employees effectively became the owners of Dunbar and Brawn, a company that has led construction and renovation projects across the Bangor region since 2003. Their work includes the new corporate headquarters of Bangor Savings Bank overlooking the Penobscot River at 24 Hamlin Way and the ongoing conversion of the former Verizon Wireless building on Telcom Drive into a pediatric center for Penobscot Community Health Care.
In fact, the workers did not put up any money to buy the company themselves. Rather, the founding owners have sold their shares to a separate legal entity that was created for the workers, according to Dunbar, who is still the company’s CEO and plans to retire in a couple years. Brawn retired at the end of last year.