Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Rainwater, has been involved in Texas Rangers,health care, real estate and energy.

Leaving Mesa, Pickens helps in hunt for successor

Journal Record, The (Oklahoma City), Aug 12, 1996 by Katie Fairbank Associated Press

IRVING, Texas -- Boone Pickens, who used Mesa Inc. to lead some of the most notorious

Rainwater, who owns a stake in the Texas Rangers baseball team and has amassed a fortune estimated at more than $700 million, has been involved in health care, real estate and energy.

Batchelder's takeover attempt was rebuffed when Texas financier and Pickens ally Richard Rainwater stepped in and recapitalized the company with more than $1 billion in lower-cost financing.
Rainwater got a 32.5 percent stake in Mesa for his investment, making him the company's biggest shareholder, and he may eventually end up with 64 percent. He also won the right to name three out of Mesa's seven board seats.
Pickens scoffs at any suggestions that Batchelder's attempt helped force him out as Mesa's chairman.
"Hell, I'm 68 years old. Time bagged me, not Batchelder," he said. "We worked our way out of the problem, I feel good about that. The company is well."
Rainwater said he was interested in the recapitalization because he likes the company, which saw a profit in the first and second quarters for the first time in seven years.
Rainwater, who owns a stake in the Texas Rangers baseball team and has amassed a fortune estimated at more than $700 million, has been involved in health care, real estate and energy.
"Mesa is just one of a long list of good investments for me where I found great companies and great people suffering temporary setbacks," Rainwater said. "I felt he had built a great company that simply needed to be recapitalized."
Pickens was forced to seek Rainwater's help because of Mesa's huge debts, run up when the company made overly generous payments to shareholders and -- contrary to Pickens' expectations -- natural gas prices plunged.
"We just distributed too much to the shareholders," Pickens said. "I didn't squander the money. I've just had my stock and hung onto it all the way through. I took the same hits everybody did."
Pickens said those people he angered in his takeover days haven't gloated about his own trouble with takeover threats.
"They're all gone," he said. "All those folks aren't around anymore."
Pickens' targets did hate him, Rainwater said, "but Wall Street loved him and his investors loved him. As I recall, his stock prices were very high at that time." Rainwater also noted that companies attempt takeovers all the time today, but the chief executives are not referred to as raiders.
Besides his takeover attempts, Pickens was also known for the shareholder rights movement of the late 1980s, which prompted big corporations to become more responsive to the needs and demands of their stockholders.
He founded the United Shareholders Association, a group that lobbied for changes in corporate governance.
In the future, Pickens sees himself possibly picking energy futures, which he did successfully most of the time to keep Mesa going during trying times. Or he may go to work elsewhere.
"I've had opportunities already," he said about an offer from an old friend to head to Calgary, Canada. "But, I'll stay in the Dallas area. I've got too many grandkids here." Pickens has 16 grandchildren primarily in the Texas-Oklahoma region.
The geologist says he won't be retiring and he won't be writing his autobiography -- he wrote one nearly 10 years ago. It became a best-seller. Whatever work he decides to do, he'll stay tied to Mesa.
"I'll be on the board and will have continuing involvement," he said. Pickens is the second-largest shareholder with 7 million shares worth around $30 million to $35 million.

No comments: