General

Profile of Tom Hicks

In the Dallas Morning News, Gary Jacobson and Brandon Case describe the next unfolding chapter in the business life of one of sports' most controversial owners.   It's a very interesting story.

Here are a couple of snips. First, the bruises from the Liverpool fans' "Yanks Out" attitude have apparently taken their toll.

Hicks said he once didn't mind the high-profile glare that comes with team ownership. But now he is tired of it, especially the abuse. "I've had all the publicity I want to have," he said. "I want some privacy for my family."

Can't say I blame him, but if I were Hicks, or Glazer for that matter, I wouldn't take a penny less for the club than I thought it was worth.  I find the behavior among the fans at Liverpool and Man United a modern, mob-like reflection of my time in England in the 1970s, when it wasn't safe to go to a soccer match.  This time the target is not the other clubs' hooligans, but American owners.

Hicks is returning his focus to his private equity financing, of which he's had a pretty good (if uneven) record: ' "With Hicks & Haas, that's one of the all-time best-performing buyout funds ever," said Steven Kaplan, a University of Chicago professor who follows the private-equity business.'

For the sake of my retirement portfolio, I hope that Hicks is right this time about equity valuation:

Now, he's on the prowl for more deals, he said.

"You want to invest in times when good prices can be obtained," he said. "This is one of the better times we've seen right now. Our motto around the firm is, 'We want to shoot fish in a barrel.' We think this environment is good."

3 Comments

  • Avatar Of Allen Taylor
    Allen Taylor June 1, 2010

    Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor

  • Avatar Of Dennis
    Dennis June 1, 2010

    Fans of “Myth Busters” may have seen the episode where they demonstrated that actually hitting the fish in the barrel is difficult. A shotgun blast into a barrel with plastic suspended fish only hit about ten percent of the fish. On the other hand, the shock waves from the bullets cause pressure changes that would kill the fish without a single piece of shot or bullet hitting them. Here’s a link to the summary of the test: http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/db/animals/shooting-killing-fish-barrel.html.

    More to the point, Americans were not terribly thrilled with the prospect of Japanese ownership of the Seattle Mariners. One can only imagine the reaction in the US if the Yankees or Cowboys were purchased by non-Americans.

  • Avatar Of Tom
    Tom June 1, 2010

    That’s a good point about the reaction the Mariners’ purchase by foreigners. Plus, Hicks is asking too much money for Liverpool. He wants to triple their value in the few years he has owned him, but it is not clear he has added any value at all. Maybe he bought them at a bargain, but with today’s economy, the price he is asking for the club is ludicrous.

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