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Knickerbocker Separates Investment Arm

ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

August 12, 1998|Leslie Earnest

L.L. Knickerbocker Co. Inc. said Tuesday it has formed a new corporation to manage the investment arm of the business.

The Lake Forest maker of collectible dolls and jewelry said it plans to appoint three outside investment advisors to run the new corporation, Knickerbocker Investments Inc. With the core business split from its equity investments, Wall Street can research and value the two entities independently, eliminating confusion, the company said.

The move also allows L.L. Knickerbocker to concentrate on its core business, which is growing partly due to a jump in Internet sales, the company said.

L.L. Knickerbocker, founded in 1985, sells collectible dolls, toys and bears. It began diversifying in 1996, investing in Pure Energy Corp., which holds the exclusive license to manufacture and distribute an alternative fuel developed at the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory.

The company also has a 50% stake in Arkenol Asia Inc., a joint venture to build power plants and biorefineries in Southeast Asia, and an investment in Phoenix Environmental Ltd., a development-stage company whose technology converts steel mill byproducts and other steel-based waste streams into a marketable industrial product.

Knickerbocker Investments is wholly owned by L.L. Knickerbocker, but the new corporation will be self-funded and responsible for its own expenses, spokeswoman Fran Daniels said.

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