Monday, January 27, 2014

What is their purpose ?

I have had several letters published in the Orlando Sentinel over the last few years.  Usually they are political., but the most recent is more business oriented... so, here it is, published on the Opinion page January 23, 2014.  The comments are regarding a series of articles talking about Darden (the largest corporation headquartered in Orlando- owner of many different restaurant chains for those who are so inclined to learn such things).  The theme is that they are considering "spinning off" Red Lobster and the Olive Garden to become more profitable according to some large new share holding interest.  I don't pretend to understand the high finance behind it., but it's annoying nevertheless.  Everybody wants to make a fast buck by not really doing anything.  It sucks.

"Taking Stock of Darden"

Regarding the investment groups encouraging the spinning off of Red Lobster and Olive Garden for Darden.  I have no doubt that the stock price of Darden will go up due to these strategies for the company (whichever maneuver they choose), but I wonder then what will be the purpose of Darden itself?  Do they exist to simply make money and become more "valuable" on the NYSE?  Many American corporations have declined to the point of operating at the direction of finance wizards with their "leverages", "buyouts", "spinoffs" and they have forgotten why it is they're in business.   If I may be so bold as to suggest to Darden;  pay attention to what you're serving the public and how you treat your employees and ignore the yammering of financiers.  Ultimately the value of your stock will go up even more because you're offer something the public wants.  Isn't that what it's all about ?      

Charles E. Marshall

So, take that Wall Street.

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