Self-Made Corporation Executive Says Human Aspects of Business Important
The human element is "certainly the most important factor in putting together a corporate marriage," a self-made multi-millionaire corporation head said yesterday.
Speaking before a Business School audience of 50, John B. Fuqua, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Fuqua Industries, related several personal encounters he has experienced in his rise from the tobacco farms of Virginia to becoming majority stockholder in two corporations and one of the wealthiest men in the South.
Beginning in 1965 with a brick and tile company that had been rapidly deteriorating, Fuqua Industries has grown quickly with the acquisition of many other firms.
Fuqua prefers purchasing proven companies because "it's much simpler, much faster, and much safer" than forming new ones, he said. "Success depends to a large extent on who you marry," he added.
Fuqua Industries consists primarily of leisure-product firms, as well as trucking and mobile home concerns. Fuqua has said the company deliberately avoids highly technological and military businesses.
Fuqua said he considers personal information crucial in making a deal. "It's important that people get to know who they are talking to," he said. "Price is not the most important thing."
In several instances, Fuqua noted, he made acquisitions based on tips from very unlikely sources. "You've got to take the opportunities when you see them," he said.
However, Fuqua said he makes an acquisition only when he feels that his company and the firm being offered are compatable. "I have a saying, 'When in doubt, don't.' It's a big world, and there are a lot of other companies to get."