In the movie V.I. Warshawski, Kathleen Turner as Vicki Warshawski, explains that the first rule of detecting is to “follow the money” if you want to know what the reality of a situation was.
In Schaffhausen, I had looked at where the money wasn’t…
(See Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution.)
So I then began to look at where the money was…
Business, to the non-business types, seems at first glance to be as exciting as watching paint dry, but like many an unexplored street or road, there are always interesting sights along the way.
Schaffhausen’s big dogs of industry are Georg Fischer (piping systems, machine tools and automotives), IWC (International Watch Company), Cilag (pharmaceuticals), BB Biotech (biotechnologies investment), Tyco International (security systems with their own insecure past) and Garmin (GPS systems).
Georg Fischer (abbreviated GF) comprises three divisions:
GF Piping Systems, GF Automotive, and GF Machining Solutions.
Founded in 1802, the Corporation is headquartered in Switzerland and is present in 32 countries, with 126 companies, 47 of them production facilities.
Its approximately 14,100 employees, generated sales of CHF 3.80 billion in 2014.
GF offers solutions for the safe transport of liquids and gases, lightweight casting components in vehicles, and high-precision manufacturing technologies.
Pretty basic solid conservative company, steady profits, increasing workforce.
Boring, but in a good way.
Cilag AG is a Swiss pharmaceutical company.
Cilag is a subsidiary of American pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.
In 1933, Swiss chemist Bernhard Joos set up a small research laboratory in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
This set the basis for the founding of Chemische Industrie-Labor AG (Chemical Industry Laboratory AG or Cilag) on 12 May 1936.
Joos’ first discovery was pyridazil, an azo dyestuff derived from pyridine, which is an analgesic for the urinary tract.
So if it burns when you pee…
By 1952 Joos had discovered seven new chemical compounds and developed them into new products.
The company’s research and development record covers discoveries and developments in the fields of biotechnology, central nervous system, women’s health, dermatology, anti-infectives and immunology.
(Joos had once been an assistant to Russian-born Swiss chemist Paul Karrer, 1937 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry, who determined the chemical structure of vitamins.)
Again, boring, but I am sure shareholders don’t care if creative types roll over and go back to sleep when Cilag is mentioned.
BB Biotech AG is a Swiss investment company in the field of biotechnology.
BB Biotech was one of the first investment companies in Europe to focus on the biotechnology industry.
Since their foundation in 1993, they have offered investors direct access to a select portfolio of promising, fast growing and profitable biotech companies listed on stock markets around the world.
Garmin develops consumer, aviation, outdoor, fitness, and marine technologies for the Global Positioning System.
Garmin Ltd. is the Swiss parent company of a group of companies founded in 1989 by Gary Burrell and Min Kao.
Its subsidiary Garmin International, Inc. serves as U.S. headquarters and is located in Olathe, Kansas, in the United States.
As of May 2014, Garmin has sold over 126 million GPS devices.
(IWC is actually interesting, but I want to save this for the next post.)
So far, not much wind to float the boat…
What follows is the stuff of drama…
Tyco International Ltd. is a security systems company incorporated in Switzerland, with United States operational headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey. (Tyco International Inc)
Things started off well…
Founded in 1960 by Arthur J. Rosenberg and formed as an investment and holding company, Tyco focused primarily on governmental research and military experiments in the private sector.
In the 1970s Tyco boomed, beginning the decade with consolidated sales and stockholder equity reaching $34 million and $15 million, respectively.
By the end of the decade, Tyco had a larger and more diverse corporation with sales topping $500 million and a net worth of nearly $140 million.
The 80s also saw aggressive acquisitions and dynamic growth, but then, in 1992, came CEO “Deal a day” Dennis Kozlowski, a Master of the Universe, and, according to the tabloids, “a real life Gordon Gekko”.
Kozlowski, a man from humble origins from northern New Jersey, took a $40-million company and transformed it into a $40-billion company.
Kozlowski, as a reward for his efforts, was making a $100 million a year salary.
Chairman and Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski and Chief Financial Officer Mark H. Swartz were accused of the theft of more than US$150 million from the company.
Leo Dennis Kozlowski, (born November 16, 1946), CEO of Tyco International, was convicted in 2005 of crimes related to his receipt of $81 million in unauthorized bonuses, the purchase of art for $14.725 million, and the payment by Tyco of a $20 million investment banking fee to Frank Walsh, another Tyco director.
Kozlowski / Prisoner 05A4820 served more than six years at the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Marcy, New York, before being transferred to the Lincoln Correctional Facility in New York City, from which he was granted conditional release on January 17, 2014.
He made a dollar a day mopping floors inside the prisons.
Kozlowski became notorious for his extravagant lifestyle, supported by the booming stock market of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
He had Tyco pay for his $30 million New York City apartment, which included $6,000 shower curtains and $15,000 “dog umbrella stands”.
According to Forbes, Kozlowski also purchased several acres in the private gated community, “The Sanctuary”, in Boca Raton, Florida, while he was CEO at Tyco International.
He also purchased a multi-million dollar oceanfront estate on the island of Nantucket.
Tyco paid $1 million (half of the $2 million bill) for the 40th birthday party of Kozlowski’s second wife, Karen Mayo Kozlowski.
The extravagant party, held on the Italian island of Sardinia, featured an ice sculpture of Michelangelo’s David urinating Stolichnaya vodka and a private concert by Jimmy Buffett.
In a camcorder video, Dennis Kozlowski states that this party will bring out a Tyco core competency – the ability to party hard.
Subsequently, this shareholder meeting/birthday party became known as the Tyco Roman Orgy…
(Guests arrived at the club.
The van pulled up to the main entrance.
Two gladiators stood next to the door.
One opened the door.
The other helped the guests.
The guests proceeded through the two rooms, with gladiators standing guard every couple of feet lining the way.
The guests came into the pool area.
The band played, dressed in elegant chic.
There was the big ice sculpture of Michaelangelo’s David, with lots of shellfish and caviar at his feet.
A waiter poured stoll vodka into David’s back, so vodka came out David’s penis into a crystal glass.
Waiters, dressed in linen togas and fig wreaths on their heads, passed cocktails in chalices.
There was a full bar covered in fabulous linens.
The pool had floating candles and flowers.
Rented fig trees with tiny lights everywhere filled the empty spaces.
Then the waiters informed everyone that dinner was served.
The food was brought out course by course, with lots of wine.
It started to get dark.
Everyone was feeling buzzed.
Dennis rose to his feet and made a toast to Karen.
Everyone jumped from table to table.
Jimmy Buffet, who had played light music throughout dinner, kicked up the tempo.
A slide show started with background music in sync with the slides.
On screen Elvis Presley wished Karen a Happy Birthday and apologized that he could not make it.
A huge cake was brought out by waiters in togas singing and holding the cake up for all to see.
The cake exploded.
The band kicked it into full throttle.
Waiters passed wine and after-dinner drinks.
Music continued and lasted till dawn.)
Tyco, after huge losses and indemnities, continues to survive and thrive.
Dennis is now paroled, divorced, in debt, disgraced.
The party ended up costing him a lot more than he ever thought…