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|Articles - Jan/Feb 2012|
|Thursday, January 19, 2012|
Page 1 of 5
By Linda Baker
The Tazo move “was unfortunate,” says founder Steve Smith, who has since launched another tea enterprise, Steven Smith Teamaker, this one operating out of Northwest Portland. Battles over consolidating the Portland and Washington operations have gone on for years, Smith says. “When Tazo Portland turned into a manufacturing plant only, the soul started to slip away.”
Not all Oregon companies that have been acquired move out of state or are absorbed by the parent company. And the reasons businesses sell run the gamut: an intentional exit strategy, bankruptcy, succession challenges in family-owned businesses and more recently, a dismal IPO market. But if the spate of fall buyouts is noteworthy, it’s because it underscores Oregon’s primary role in the merger and acquisition marketplace as a kind of shopping center for large, out-of-state firms. “We’re an incubator,” says Smith. “There are lots of creative people here thinking about things in a unique way and creating small businesses that then have tremendous potential within a larger business at some point.”
There’s no shame in serving as the nation’s innovation mill. On the contrary, innovation has brought the state national and international acclaim. But as job and wage growth strategies in Oregon take center stage — and as other regions expand on our success — our place in the acquisition food chain, and the reasons for that placement, merit a closer look. Consider that in 2011, Oregon companies acquired or partially purchased 49 out-of-state companies in deals valued at about $1.7 billion, according to New York-based Dealogic. That figure doesn't include the value of deals with undisclosed terms. A single acquisition, Precision Castparts’ $900 million purchase of Bellevue-based Primus, accounted for more than half of the amount invested.
By contrast, there were 82 Oregon targeted acquisitions or partial purchases by out-of-state companies or private equity firms and investors in 2011 — a deal landscape valued at about $2.7 billion (not including undisclosed terms). Those acquisitions added to a string of buyouts or majority stake sales of Oregon companies, a list that includes Harry & David, U.S. Bank, Tektronix, Willamette Industries, YoCream, Hanna Andersson, Fred Meyer, Lucy Activewear and Stumptown Coffee.
“Oregon is building businesses that people want to buy,” says Carolyn Vogt, a Lane Powell attorney. “[But] why are we the target rather than the buyer?”
Friday, February 28, 2014
The 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
A blueberry bush is a blueberry bush — except when it’s a blueberry tree.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Our 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
BY MARK BLAINE | OB BLOGGER
The publisher of the Emerald Media Group moves on, leaving a cutting edge media group that depends on business acumen for its survival.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
Because they have little chance of working for someone else, today’s teens need to be entrepreneurs. But, first, we must teach our teens that entrepreneurship starts small.
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Oregon State University's hospitality degree program invests in next-generation leaders.
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