Summer 1997

  • Summer 1997

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In this issue

  • Going Public in a Rollup

    In 1996, Troy L. Fraser was running the company his father started in their backyard while Troy was still a teenager, and he was running it well. Fraser Industries Inc. of Big Spring, Texas, posted $50 million in revenues that year. The company, which makes and recycles pallets—the wooden platforms used to ship heavy machinery and supplies—was a market leader in the Southwestern United States. It was at the end of a three-year growth spurt during which it had opened nine new plants.

  • Misleading Balance Sheets

    Joe Maravich, founder of a wood products manufacturing company, died two years ago at the age of 89. At the time of his death, total stockholder equity in the business, as indicated on the balance sheet, was $5 million. But the IRS had been auditing Joe’s estate tax return and had figured the value of the business at $12 million. As a result of the higher valuation, his family would not be able to pay the tax without disposing of some of the business assets.

  • Yin and Yang as Co-Presidents

    Imagine a business led by two siblings who share ownership and management responsibilities equally, yet are as unlike in style and personality as Beethoven and the Beach Boys. Imagine further that in this business no major decisions are made unless both partners agree, and no one has the power to break deadlocks when they occur.

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