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Norris Selling Stake in Firm He Founded

October 07, 1987|DENISE GELLENE

The founder of the company that owns the Crystal Vend water vending machines is selling his one-third interest in the firm for about $1.1 million, the company said Tuesday.

Sam B. Norris Jr. is selling half his shares back to the company, named Presto-Tek Corp., in return for forgiveness of a $76,887 debt and a three-year, $500,000 note, said Frank Anselmo, Presto-Tek chief financial officer. Norris is selling the rest of his Presto-Tek shares to the New York investment firm McKinley Allsopp Inc. for $500,000.

Anselmo said that, in turn, McKinley Allsopp plans to sell the Presto-Tek shares it gets from Norris to an unnamed group of private investors.

Presto-Tek, based in Los Angeles, was founded in 1974 and went public earlier this year. According to Anselmo, it had 1986 sales of about $8.78 million and a profit of $675,000. Anselmo said it will just break even this year, due to the costs involved in establishing distributorships in eastern Texas and Maryland.

Anselmo said that Presto-Tek has about 25% of the $35 million Southern California water vending machine market and is second to McKesson Corp.

Anselmo said that the company's biggest creditor, the Revere Fund, has agreed to refinance about $2 million of Presto-Tek's debt after Norris sells his shares. Additionally, Presto-Tek named as chairman Jackson Gouraud, currently a consultant to the company.

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