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Top 5 Private Business & Investment Articles to Start the Week: The Secret to Smucker’s Success

1. Smucker’s Success: Keep it in the Family

Author: Marc Gunther

We’ve commented in the past about the challenge of transitioning a family-owned business into second and third generations of ownership, but here is one quite prominent family that appears to have gotten it right.  The J.M. Smucker Co. is in its fifth generation of family ownership, and a series of shrewd acquisitions over the past decade have increased profits more than ten times over.

Check out the full article at Fortune magazine online for a closer look at the company’s success. 

2. Hey Mr. Buffett, How Do You Like Kraft Now?

Author: Michael Corkery

One of the biggest M&A stories of the past year has been Kraft’s dogged pursuit, and eventual capture, of the British confectioner Cadbury PLC.  Kraft paid a 50% premium to where Cadbury’s share price stood before Kraft’s intentions became known, a price which many Kraft investors (including Warren Buffet) felt was too steep.

Those fears may be quelled, at least for a little while, as a 5.7% rise in Cadbury’s sales helped boost Kraft’s expectation-beating second quarter profit.  Furthermore, Kraft now estimates that it will achieve $750mm in cost savings from the integration, up from its original projection of $675mm. 

3. Alternate Exits for Business Owners

Author: Monica Mehta

It is a tough time to be a small business owner looking for an exit – whether for retirement or otherwise.  With the reluctance of buyers and banks to loosen their pursestrings in mind, Seventh Capital’s Managing Principal Monica Mehta offers three alternative exits for business owners to consider. 

4. Case Study: When a Married Couple Disagree

Author: Christina Rouvalis

The article features the story of Tom Pastorius, a Pittsburgh entrepreneur and brewer nearing his 70s and embracing a comeback.  After founding, building, and eventually selling Penn Brewery to a local private equity firm, Pastorius found himself dismayed at the downward direction of his former company.  When offered the chance to buy it back at a discount, he found it hard to refuse. 

The story is a great example of both the consuming passion of the entrepreneur  as well as the operational risks inherent in a change of ownership. 

5. Losing the Dream, but Saving the Store

Author: Tracy Stapp

In this article, the author examines the growing trend of franchise “conversion”, in which an established, locally-owned store jumps under a franchise umbrella and assumes franchisee status. 

It’s a strategy that has been so successful for both parties that one company has taken it a step further, focusing on matching motivated former corporate executives with independent owners looking to sell.  The target company is then brought aboard as a new franchise, under new ownership, but with a pre-existing set of relationships in the local market.   

Read more about franchise conversion – and its offshoot, “acquisition-and-conversion” – by clicking here.

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