Bucking the Trend of Big Mergers
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
February 1, 2002 - for the American Reformation Project
Companies that wish to remain independent are hard to find these days.
In an era of ever-increasing globalization, few companies seem to find it in
best interest to deny the urge to merge, and are willing to counter the
conventional wisdom that bigger is better. One company that has opted for
the rarely seen go-it-alone strategy is Oneida, Ltd., one of the most recognized
makers of silverware and tableware.
A few years back, Oneida resisted an unsolicited offer to be acquired
Libby, Inc. of Toledo, Ohio. Upon the acquisitive company's decision to drop
the takeover attempt, Libby issued a statement, which essentially recognized
that Oneida's management was "entrenched" in their desire to remain a
stand-alone company. But the real kicker here is that Oneida hinted at the
understanding that their decision may not have been in the best interest of
their shareholders, but the management of this American company was willing
to stay independent anyway.
Of course I would not be trumpeting this American company and their
unless a substantial portion of their products were made in USA. My wife and
I bought a silverware set from them a couple of years ago. Every piece was
made in USA. That is certainly reason enough to support this American company
and their American workers, but the fact that they have gone against the grain
counter today's global merger-mania frenzy is enough to make any American who
cherishes independence proud.