Finding The Right Formula for Growth

From joint ventures to divestitures, the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 used a mix of strategies to beat the competition

and was sold in 2004 for $127.5 million to white-owned Falor Co. Falor plans to convert many of the traditional hotel rooms into condominium hotel units.

Prior to the opening of the Royal Palm, the local black community had been on a 12-year boycott against Miami Beach after residents and business owners felt Nelson Mandela was snubbed during his visit to Florida in 1990. Mandela had previously visited Cuban President Fidel Castro, angering Miami’s Cuban residents.

While Peebles ended a short-lived victory for African Americans, his real estate development firm did not exit the BE 100S. Rather, PADC showed an increase in revenues of 147% over 2003. Peebles will remain on the BE 100S list with his other ventures that include The Residences at the Bath Club, a $250 million project in Miami, and a hotel in the Bay Area in California. According to a prepared statement by Falor Co., “Peebles’ efforts increased the value of the property, [which led] to the highest priced hotel sale in Miami Beach’s history.”

Sid Taylor, CEO of SET Enterprises Inc. (No. 17 on the list with $212 million in gross sales), also sold a portion of his business and saw growth of more than 31%. While he doesn’t sell anything as glamorous as luxury hotel rooms, Taylor’s products are just as much in demand. SET Enterprises processes the exposed and unexposed metal on cars. Part of SET’s strategy in the past has been to acquire facilities as a measure of growth, but last year the Detroit-based auto supplier saw selling as a strategy.

SET sold its forming
business unit, which consists of stamping, welding, and assembly operations, to asset management firm Triune L.L.C. for an undisclosed amount. Taylor says this sale will allow the company to focus on its core strengths and take better advantage of its unique position. SET is the only minority supplier to work with both kinds of metal—exposed steel and unexposed steel.

Also bitten by the “sell” bug was McDonald’s supplier Anderson-DuBose Co. (No. 22 on the list with $166.6 million in sales). “We sold the South African unit to the management team there,” explains CEO Warren Anderson, who says maintaining the facility overseas was expensive and physically taxing. The Solon, Ohio-based company supplies a variety of items to McDonald’s restaurants, including Happy Meal toys, paper and dairy products, and frozen meats.

The sale of the South African business unit caused an 11.64% decrease in sales for 2004, but Anderson says overall it was a prosperous year. “Sales for our two existing businesses were up. McDonald’s had a tremendous year. And my beer brands, Coors and Miller, had a good year,” he says. By making such smart moves, BE 100S CEOs like Anderson are proving they are developing the right formula for success.

Industrial/Service [Eligibility] A company must be at least 51% black-owned and have been fully operational for the previous calendar year (Jan. 1, 2003 through Dec. 31, 2003). Companies listed must manufacture or own the products they sell or provide industrial or consumer services.

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