Cargill: Keeping the Family Business Private
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
When Margaret A. Cargill passed away in 2006, her 17.5 per cent stake in Cargill went to Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MAC). MAC lobbied for her stake to be liquidated. Cargill proceeded to shed its 64 per cent stake in Mosaic, North America’s second-largest fertilizer company, in exchange for Margaret Cargill’s stake in the company, in order to maintain control over the company. Like many second- and third-generation family businesses, Cargill’s current family owners were not actively involved in the day-to-day running of the company. Was spinning off Mosaic in the best long-term interests of Cargill? Were there other feasible ways in which Cargill could have better facilitated the liquidation of Margaret Cargill’s stake?
This case can be used in an advanced undergraduate or MBA course in family businesses, family governance, or financial management. It presents an opportunity for students to explore the following topics:
- Trade-offs between liquidity and control.
- Management for the long term.
- Shareholder conflicts.
- Family governance.
- Alternative ways of liquidating shares.
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
United States, Large, 2011
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