You can't make this stuff up!

Engine2-560

 

It was completely unexpected. Todd died in an accident. It was fast. It was sudden. His two daughters were glad that their father hadn’t suffered.

 

Todd had been the sole owner of an interesting, niche machining business with a fun culture and impressive profit sharing. Todd had run it well and rewarded his people for their great work. The annual revenue was just north of $4MM, but it spun off more than $650k plus healthy salaries and benefits.

 

As Todd was divorced, his heirs were his two daughters, Madison (age 24) and Peyton (age 22). Neither had worked in the business or had any business training. However, Madison’s husband, Peter (age 27) thought himself qualified to run the thing.

 

Todd may not have suffered, but everyone else’s suffering was about to begin…

 

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It took 24 months. I kid you not. Just 24 months for Peter to drive it into the ground. He was a mess, had never run a business, didn’t know how to relate to the crusty, old mechanics that were the lifeblood of the company. He knew nothing of the science nor art of the niche that Todd had dominated.

 

But lets back up a bit. The company’s long time accountant and advisor, Paul, warned the girls early on that new management was quickly devaluing their inherited business.

 

Within 20 months the employees were disgruntled, the customers were unhappy, and the money had evaporated. It took 2 more months of losses before Paul got Peter, Madison, and Peyton to the table and 2 months more to get them to agree to sell the company.

 

Enter Packard.

 

We created the package, did the research, did the outreach, and brought 3 really qualified suitors to the table. All of them solid players in the core industry and would be far better equipped than Peter at making the niche successful again. All of this takes time and another 5 months had slid by with continued downward results in the company. Final negotiations got it narrowed down to the last man standing and, I’m really quite proud of this, we got a closing date set.

 

Just days before the closing … and then it really went to hell. 

 

Peter suddenly refused to participate and threw what can only be described as a sh*t-fit with screaming, pouting, crying, yelling, and all of the arm waving that goes along with it. The employees threw their hands up in the air and left the site en-masse. Peter went home and locked himself in his house, refusing to emerge.

 

The buyer, of course, wouldn’t touch this thing with a ten foot pole considering how toxic it had become.

 

So: no buyer, no value left in the company. Just debt, unfunded pensions, and a building with a mortgage that sat empty for years.

 

On a final note, I heard from Paul that he had to tow the cars from Peter’s garage as they were company vehicles. The girls lost a fortune and I can only wonder if Madison lost a husband.