Etsy’s stock price jumped last week after SEC filings showed private equity firms TPG Group Holdings and Dragoneer Investment Group had taken large stakes in the company.
Share price as of Monday morning was $13.10, up 25 percent from what it closed at on May 3, the day following the leadership change.
CNBC is reporting that both firms have asked Etsy “to engage in discussions regarding strategic alternatives.” Such strategic alternatives could involve a sale of the company. Business Insider threw out names like Walmart, eBay and Party City as possible buyers.
Others think Etsy’s era of labor-friendly policies and civic-interest decisionmaking could be nearing an end. An article in BloombergBusinessweek described Etsy’s Dumbo office in stark contrast with a complaint about overspending from private equity investor Seth Wunder.
Etsy offers a more generous parental leave policy than Facebook Inc. or Google Inc.—six months for both parents—along with free crafts classes and what has to be the most elaborate meal plan of any company. In “Eatsy,” as employees call the program, meals are offered twice weekly, catered by socially conscious and generally high-end restaurants. Food is composted locally as part of Etsy’s plan to send almost no waste to landfills by 2020. Until recently, when the quantity became unmanageable, food scraps were packed onto a Dutch cargo bike, which an “office ecologist” would pedal several miles to a Brooklyn farm.
Attention to these issues surely is one reason why Etsy’s employees came out in droves to support ousted CEO Chad Dickerson in the days after he was removed, as we reported.
And what this all means for Etsy’s status as a B Corp, a designation of commitment to public benefit, remains unknown, although there are rumors the company will allow the designation to expire.