“Would you sell Learfield?”
We hadn’t been in business very long when Derry got a call from Dick Johnston, President of the Missouri Farm Bureau — also located in Jefferson City. Johnston wanted to know if were interested in selling. Derry–an old cattle trader–responded “of course, anything is for sale.” So, in 1976; three years after we’d started, we were “in play”. The attached legal opinion [Download PDF ] dealing with tax implications from our Kansas City lawyer shows our sincerity.
But, a formal offer never came. Nothing happened.
Just last week at a Learfield Sports Sales Academy this question arose during a question/answer period:
“Surely you get lots of offers; would you sell the Company?”
My answer was “No”. We aren’t for sale. That’s not to say we won’t ever be, of course. But your owners like the challenges of operating a company; we like this business/industry and we absolutely love our co-workers. So, we’re here to stay. We’ve told suiters to get lost. In fact, we don’t even talk to them. There’s something wonderful about being a “legacy company.” Now, having said that, I believe we can’t put our collective heads in the sand on this issue. We want to do what is best for you, what is best for all of our stakeholders: university partners, affiliates, communities, and shareholders. After all is said and done, doesn’t our love for each other transcend Learfield? I believe it does.