The KC Star has this interesting article about the founders of Silpada Designs buying their company back from Avon. The founders started the jewelry company with $50 and built it into a fashion empire (with $230 million in annual revenue), selling it to Avon a few years ago. Avon has been struggling recently financially, so the founders were able to buy back Silpada for $85 million – quite a deal. Tom Kelly, Silpada’s CEO, explained the going private decision: the “business model is right and the fact that the founders are coming back on board will immediately give positive emotional traction on our revenue and profits.”
Going private is the business counterpart to an IPO – instead of seeking more capital from investors in the equity or bond markets, the founders buy back their company. Business executives can have many reasons for going private – they got bored of retirement, a new venture didn’t go well, changes are needed that require private, closely-held ownership (like Michael Dell’s $24.4 billion bid to go private with Dell), or some other reason.
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(c) 2013, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.