Three Orange County businessmen purchased nearly 60% of the outstanding shares of Los Angeles-based Entrepreneur Group Inc., the parent company of Entrepreneur Magazine, for more than $3.5 million from company founder Chase Revel.
The three businessmen--Barry Rupp, Peter Shea and Reinhold Phahler--are owners of Costa Mesa-based Stained Glass Overlay Inc., a company that the three bought for $1 million in 1983 and that manufactures a colored film pasted on windows to give them the appearance of stained glass. The company has 350 franchises.
Rupp, the group leader, said he and his partners "went directly to Mr. Revel in January and at that time put together an agreement to purchase the stock."
The exact purchase price was not revealed, but Rupp said the group paid a premium over the recent market price of 25 cents a share for all of Revel's 14 million shares.
Revel reportedly began the publishing company, printing manuals on how to get started in small businesses, under the name of Chase Revel Inc. in 1973. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1982 and the magazine later became the property of a public company.
Through the filing of a palimony suit in Los Angeles Superior Court in July, Revel was discovered to have been convicted of bank robberies under his given name of John Leonard Burke in Las Vegas and Houston about 20 years ago.
Revel was arrested twice the following month, once on suspicion of being a convicted felon in possession of a pistol and then eight days later on suspicion of possessing materials with the intention of making pipe bombs.
Rupp, Shea and Phahler have been elected to Entrepreneur Group's board, as was their associate David Juedes, who as vice president will take charge of the firm's finances. President Wellington A. Ewen, also elected to the board, previously acted as the financial director.
"What it does is basically allow me more time to concentrate on the magazine and manual publication business," said Ewen, who expects no other management changes.
Rupp said he and his partners were interested in buying Entrepreneur Group because "we think it (Entrepreneur) is a great magazine. We are in the franchising business ourselves and have used that magazine to promote our products. "It's just positioned to be one of the major magazines in the U.S." Rupp said. "It's a sleeper, is what it is."