Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Twentieth-Century Business Archives

AMFAC, Inc. - Lehman Brothers Collection

AMFAC, Inc.

List of Deals

AMFAC, Inc., was incorporated in Hawaii in July 1918 as American Factors, Ltd., to take over the business of H. Hackfield & Company, Ltd., a company that was originally established in 1849. The name AMFAC was adopted in April 1966.

For several decades after its creation, AMFAC was engaged primarily in the Hawaiian sugar plantation business. It served as the agent for several plantations, such as the Olaa Sugar Company, and it also held an equity interest in firms such as Lihue Plantation Company, Koloa Sugar Company, and Pacific Guano & Fertilizer Company. Over the years sales grew from $2 million in 1919 to $5 million in 1943 and $48 million in 1950.

The acquisitions that AMFAC chose to make were usually related to sugar and molasses, such as in 1961 when it acquired Pioneer Mill, Ltd., and Oahu Sugar Company. The odd exception was in 1962 when it acquired the Plaza Hotel of San Francisco and five parcels of land for $5 million.

In 1967, Henry A. Walker Jr. assumed control of AMFAC. Over the next fifteen years, Walker took AMFAC from a company that largely depended on sugar production in Hawaii to a broadly diversified conglomerate with interests in wholesale electrical parts distribution, potato and mushroom products, and resort operations.

AMFAC bought the department store Joseph Magnin Company in 1969. It acquired Rhodes Western in November 1969 and renamed it AMFAC Merchandising Corporation. In December 1969 it acquired Financial Development Corporation and later renamed it AMFAC Credit Corporation. That same year, it also added Island Holidays, Ltd., an operator of hotels. A developer and manager of mobile home parks, it was later renamed AMFAC Communities.

AMFAC continued with its buying spree in 1970 with several new purchases. It added Duarte's U Drive & Tours Ltd. and Duarte's Orchid Island Tours Ltd., of Hawaii. It bought Medallion Room, Inc., a restaurant operator and provider of in-flight meal services. It also added Western Drug Supply of Sacramento, Metropolitan Mortgage Corporation of Los Angeles, the LeBaron Hotel, Ewa Sugar Company, the Sonesta Beach Hotel on the island of Maui, Wolff & Marx, a department store in San Antonio, Prosser Packers, a vegetable processing firm in Washington state, Columbia River Farms, also engaged in vegetable processing in Washington, National Electric Supply, a Santa Rosa, California, distributor of electrical equipment and supplies for the construction industry, and, lastly, Henry Yim's Tours & Taxi, Inc., an operator of tour cars and buses on the Island of Oahu.

As the 1970s progressed, AMFAC continued adding companies through cash purchases or through exchanges of stock. It added A.I.D. Wholesale Drug Company and East Bay Drug Company in 1971. It also issued shares to acquire Domas Electric Supply, Mid-Cities Wholesale Electrical Supply, and Garland Wholesale Electrical Supply, all Texas electrical equipment and supply companies. That year it also added Baz'ar mass merchandising stores, Rocky Mountain Wholesale Drug, Valley Electric Company, and Northern Supply Inc.

Over the next few years, AMFAC acquired companies such as Wilhelm Foods, a producer of fresh and processed beef, and Ivar Wendt, a crab and shrimp processor. It also added electrical supply companies such as Edson Electric of Denver, Mission Electric Supply of San Antonio, Texas, and Electrical Associates, Inc., of Oklahoma.

After adding so many companies, AMFAC sales were $1.3 billion by 1976, up from $575 million in 1971.

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