Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Wilson Certified Foods, Inc. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Wilson Certified Foods, Inc.

List of Deals

Wilson & Company was acquired by Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc., (LTV) in 1967.

LTV was a diversified manufacturer of defense, space, communications, and electrical cable products. It chose to acquire Wilson for its growth potential and because the industries in which it operated were not government-related sales. Wilson earned $12.75 million from sales of $991 million in 1966.

Wilson was a meat packer founded in 1853 that over the decades had branched out, through subsidiaries, into several industries including sporting goods, pharmaceuticals, and industry chemicals.

For much of its history, Wilson’s primary focus had been the business of buying and slaughtering livestock and processing and marketing foods, including fresh and frozen meats. It had also been engaged in the poultry business, raising breeder flocks, growing broilers, and operating feed mills, hatcheries, and processing plants. During the company’s rich history they had also created a subsidiary for manufacturing products from agricultural by-products. The end products included surgical sutures, inexpensive tennis racquets, tennis racquet string, and baseballs. Eventually this subsidiary chose to focus on the manufacture of sporting goods. In 1935 the subsidiary changed its name from General Sport, Inc., to Wilson Sporting Goods Company.

Within weeks after the acquisition in 1967, LTV reorganized Wilson into three new companies divided along business lines: Wilson & Company, Wilson Sporting Goods Company, and Wilson Pharmaceutical & Chemical Corporation. Each new Wilson subsidiary quickly went public, making public offerings of common stock. The Wilson & Company offering was for one million shares at twenty-three dollars per share, and the Wilson Sporting Goods offer consisted of 600,000 shares at thirty dollars per share. The chemical subsidiary, which also went public during the summer of 1967, was composed of 350,000 shares at seventeen dollars per share.

In September 1969 LTV chose to reorganize the new Wilson into four new wholly owned subsidiaries: Wilson Sinclair Company, Wilson Certified Foods, Inc., Wilson Beef & Lamb Company, and Wilson Laurel Farms, Inc.

In June 1972 Wilson Certified Foods, which represented the meat and dairy product lines of Wilson & Company, sold $25 million of twenty-five year debentures yielding 9 7/8 percent. The deal was led by Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.

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