Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Bertea Corp. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Bertea Corp.

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Bertea Corporation was incorporated in California in 1947 as the successor to an existing business. The company was engaged primarily in designing, developing, and manufacturing hydraulic and electrohydraulic servocontrols and components for use in commercial and military aircraft.

The company remained small in the first decade after Bertea's formation. During the 1960s, however, Bertea began to grow rapidly, benefiting in part from an increase in U.S. defense contracts and business from the U.S. commercial airline industry. In 1966 Bertea received a $3 million subcontract from Lockheed Aircraft to provide actuation systems for primary flight controls on C5A, a huge military air transport. In 1967 Bertea was also supplying flight-control equipment for other military aircraft such as the Lockheed Cheyenne Helicopter and McDonnell F-2 Phantom II. It also provided equipment for Boeing and Douglas commercial airliners.

In 1963 Bertea earned $595,365 on sales of $9.5 million. This grew to $1.1 million in net income on sales of over $20 million by 1967. Bertea sold 320,000 shares (approximately $5.1 million) through an initial public offering in 1968. The proceeds were used to repay short-term debt and to provide additional working capital to finance the company's rapid growth.

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