Case 31: First Greyhound, Then Greyhound Dial, Then Dial, Now

2128 words - 9 pages

Case 31: First Greyhound, then Greyhound Dial, then Dial, now what? Merle Henning 1. What were the critical incidents in Greyhound's growth and development over time? Founded in 1914 as a transportation company for miners in Minnesota, Greyhound's success came very fast and the company started to expand its routes. In 1930, the name Greyhound Corporation was adopted and by 1960, Greyhound had achieved its goal of a nationwide bus transportation system. After some years, Greyhound found out that the transportation business brought in a lot of money, which could be used for new businesses. Thus, in 1962, Greyhound's board of directors decided to diversify into operations outside of the bus transportation industry, which meant the establishment of a huge company. By the end of 1963, Greyhound had acquired two other companies and was now divided in three major operating industries: bus transportation, bus manufacturing and financial services.When Gerry Trautman was appointed CEO in 1966, he wasted no time in accelerating Greyhound's new strategy for expansion and growth. Until 1970, he had acquired 30 different companies, among them several bus lines, a cruise line and a company specialized in furniture transportation. However, the most important fact is, that Greyhound formed a new operating division, services.Not all the companies that Trautman acquired were successful and he divested it as quickly as he had acquired it. According to Trautman, the company's mission is "diversification within diversification". This means that the operating groups are so diversified, so that each of them is recession-proof and all are enhancing the financial strength of the company.The next big incident was in 1970, when Greyhound acquired Armor&Co, another large conglomerate that had many diverse business interests in food, consumer products and pharmaceuticals, which Trautman sold in 1977. What remained after the divestitures were Armor's food operations and Armor's Dial division, from which would emerge Greyhound's Dial consumer products operating division.Fir the next years, Trautman continued to increase the company's size and by 1978, Greyhound's holding company consisted of five operating divisions: Transportation, bus manufacturing, food and consumer products, financial, and services/food service. All of them continued to acquire more operations in order to pursue Trautman's "diversification within diversification". Some of the acquisitions were failures but Trautman believed that the risk of a failure should be run as long as the company is healthy.The next big acquisition was in 1978, when he acquired Verex, the largest private insurer of residential mortgages in the US in order to strengthen the operations of Greyhound's financial operating division.The next critical incident was in 1980, when Armor started to have huge problems and Trautman wanted to retire. In 1981, John...

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