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Jacobs Retains 40% Stake : Minstar Sells Bekins to Unit's President in $66-Million Deal

May 09, 1987|BRUCE KEPPEL | Times Staff Writer

Minstar, a publicly traded company headed by Minneapolis investor Irwin L. Jacobs, said Friday that it has sold its Bekins subsidiary to the Glendale-based moving company's president, Thomas E. Epley, for $66 million.

Under the deal, Epley will remain president and hold a majority stake in the company. Minstar, which is to receive $51 million in cash and the balance in notes, will retain a 40% interest in Bekins, Epley said.

Epley, who joined Bekins two years ago to run the company for Jacobs, said in an interview that he has completed a sharp cutback in overhead, particularly at corporate headquarters in Glendale, and anticipates no further retrenchment.

He said he expects to expand the company's basic household-moving business into such related transportation areas as specialty packing and moving of high-value items, such as antiques, and in offering regularly scheduled trucking of so-called LTL--or less-than-truckload--shipments.

FOR THE RECORD
Los Angeles Times Tuesday June 16, 1987 Home Edition Business Part 4 Page 2 Column 3 Financial Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
In a May 9 article on the sale of Glendale-based Bekins, The Times erroneously reported that the moving company also operates National Van Lines in Chicago. In fact, National Van Lines is an independent company that was not affected by Bekins' sale.

"I very strongly believe in building on your core strengths," he said.

Epley said he had approached Jacobs with a proposal to buy Bekins from Minstar. "Irwin has always said that everything in his collection is for sale under the right conditions at the right time. The reason he is selling it is because I made a proposal," he said.

Bekins had sales of $325 million last year, Epley said, but Minstar did not report the subsidiary's contribution to net income. Epley described Bekins' 1986 performance as "moderately profitable" and said it has adequate cash flow to finance further investment and reduce its debt.

Bekins nationwide employs about 2,500 people full time, most of them in Bekins Moving & Storage--the unit that handles local moves from offices in many California cities and a number of other states, primarily in the Sun Belt. It also operates National Van Lines in Chicago.

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