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Bucking the Trend of Big Mergers
Our Buy American Mention of the Week!
by Roger Simmermaker
February 1, 2002

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 their 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 by 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 products 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 to counter today's global merger-mania frenzy is enough to make any American who cherishes independence proud.


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