drink brands, for $191 million. In late June, the company then agreed to hawk Tayto, its Irish snack food business, to Cantrell & Cochrane Holdings Ltd. of Ireland, for $116.5 million. Add up TLC’s completed and proposed asset transactions since 1997, and gross proceeds come to a whopping $924.5 million. Not bad for 20 months worth of work.
The next stage of the dissolution pr
ocess is the distribution of existing cash and the proceeds of asset sales to TLC’s shareholders-including the estate of Reginald F. Lewis and Loida Lewis; Carlton Investments; Baupost Entities, the managing general partner of three limited partnerships; and DP Investments G.P. Corp., a New York-based investment firm-minus any corporate expenses and other obligations. “The money will go to shareholders in waves of cash,” says Glover. “The first wave will be $275 million from the cash we already have in the bank. The next wave will be $110 million from sales of our ice cream operation, and the balance will be paid out as the liquidation progresses. After the big chunks of cash are paid to shareholders, then we make sure that every creditor we may owe money to, directly and indirectly, is paid off. In a liquidation of this size, we are legally given up to three years to wrap up the business, but I suspect that we will not have to take that amount of time to close our books.”
Glover says the shareholders-including the Lewis family-will realize “an incredible multiple” on their return per share.
ENCORE: THE POSSIBILITY OF NEW VENTURES
Will Loida Lewis launch another business after TLC? For the time being, your guess is as good as hers. “I believe in taking things one step at a time,” she says. “But if I did look at another business, it would be in food. I like basic types of businesses-food, clothing and shelter.I like to be involved in things that people will always need.”
But what has disappointed Lewis over the years is there has not been another transaction the size of-or that has dwarfed-the original TLC deal involving an African American entrepreneur. She considers such lack of progress “an indictment of American society.”
Her next project appears to be playing a role in creating black entrepreneurs. Lewis has worked with such be 100s CEOs as Carlton Guthrie of Trumark, the Lansing, Michigan-based auto supplier (No. 68 on the 1999 be industrial/service 100 list with $36.2 million in gross sales) and William Buford III of Reliant Industries, the Bedford Park, Illinois-based manufacturer (No. 33 on the list with $73.1 million in gross sales) in creating the Runners Club, an advisory group focused on transforming small black businesses into major players. And, as she was finalizing the sale of Tayto, she announced that the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation and the Lewis family were giving the NAACP $1 million to train high school students to become future business leaders. “More and more blacks are running investment banks and going into finance and business management,” she says. “I am remaining confident