Friday, July 5, 2013

Koch Brothers: We Have the Crony Edge

The generally secretive Charles Koch's is talking to the Wall Street Journal. Why? It appears the Koch brothers want to make more acquisitions and they want to let firms know they are buyong. WSJ reports:
The billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch get lots of attention for bankrolling conservative causes. They would like more notice for another passion: buying and developing companies.
Koch Industries Inc., their closely held industrial conglomerate with annual sales of $115 billion, made a splash last month by acknowledging an interest in buying newspapers. But Koch Industries also is looking at other possible investments, particularly in energy and agriculture-related businesses.
They seem to be envious of the positive press Warren Buffett gets:
 Despite the scale of their business holdings, including the makers of Lycra fibers and Angel Soft toilet tissue, the Koch brothers have long been overshadowed as deal-makers by their folksy neighbor in Omaha: Warren Buffett.
"He's done a great job of having a brand that if you want to sell your business and continue to run it, come here," Charles Koch, the 77-year-old chairman and chief executive of Koch Industries, said in a rare interview at the company's brown-granite headquarters on the edge of Wichita.[...]
Steve Feilmeier, chief financial officer of Koch Industries, said some sellers have made pitches to Mr. Buffett alone "because he was viewed as the only person who could write a hefty check [and] could do it very quickly."
But Mr. Feilmeier said Koch Industries can do that too, and improve management of firms it acquires.
So what will be there pitch to firms? WSJ again:
Though Charles Koch abhors what he considers excessive U.S. government regulation, he lists expertise in compliance as one of his company's strengths, and as a skill it can offer to firms it acquires.

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