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What does the last nickel cost?

 
An associate of mine relayed this story to me about his cousin.
 
Richard was part of the management team for a mid-sized, upper midwest manufacturer. The owner, we’ll call him Gary, had a stake in several companies and was always on the lookout for a deal. Somewhere along the way, Gary crossed paths with a company that manufactured electric motors. They were struggling and looking for an out. Gary made a deal to buy the company with the plan to crate and ship the $25MM in inventory to his main operation (where Richard worked) and shut down their operation.
 
Enter Richard. Richard was part of the crew that flew east on the due diligence team. The inventory checked out and Gary stood to make quite a handsome profit when he turned the inventory. Richard and the management team walked through the process of crating and shipping and the closing.
 
The management team then headed home to prep the building for the incoming five semi loads of motors.
 
And that's when things went awry...
 
What transpired next, Richard was not privy to, but the water-cooler conversations painted this picture: the employees of the soon to be defunct electric motor company asked that those with accumulated paid time off be given a little something. They were told no and Richard got the impression that it was a cold no.
 
Eleven days later the semi trucks arrived with the carefully crated electric motors and they began unloading the racking the inventory. Richard was called into the warehouse. He was taken to the racking and shown a pallet. All of the wiring had been cut. On all of the motors. 
 
Lets recap. Gary makes are really good deal on $25MM worth of inventory that will take him maybe 24 months to turn, realizing a substantial profit. Gary gives the cold shoulder to the soon to be unemployed folks and they snip the wiring. Gary is out the cost of the acquisition, the payment period while the employees crated the inventory, the costs of crating the heavy motors, and the shipping to move the inventory. The costs of disposal were probably washed out by the scrap metal value.
 
The lesson we can learn here is to know the dangers of trying to squeeze out the last nickel from a deal.