Skip to comments.DHL founder pleads ignorance in sworn testimony
Posted on 11/28/2004 2:00:30 PM PST by NormsRevenge
SACRAMENTO (AP) - William Armsted Robinson, a top contributor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, founded Document Handling Limited, one of the nation's first courier services, and sold it for $57 million last year.
Competitors United Parcel Service and Federal Express, which fought the sale, wanted Robinson to testify that he was merely a financial front for the minority owner, Germany's Deutsche Post. The U.S. Department of Transportation eventually ruled against their claim and allowed the sale.
In a transcript of his sworn confidential deposition, obtained by The Associated Press, Robinson said he had no idea how he came up with his $60 million asking price for the company. But when he was offered $37 million, he said he responded, "Just forget it, we're going fishing."
He testified he disregarded a financial analysis that valued the company at up to $118 million - more than double its ultimate sale price. And Robinson couldn't explain why he was paid $51 million for his 55 percent share of the company, while Deutsche Post was paid $6 million for the remaining 45 percent.
When Robinson's representative told him $51 million was the best he could get, "I said, 'Well, I might as well take it.'"
For all his professed ignorance, Robinson offered two pieces of astute business advice that his former company has since adopted.
Asked how DHL could better compete with industry leaders UPS and FedEx, he advised Deutsche Post to launch a "massive advertising campaign." And when the new owners proposed to change the name, he called the idea "crazy ... a dumb thing to do" because DHL was known the world over by that acronym.
Though the company is now owned by Astar Air Cargo Inc., it recently embarked on a major television advertising campaign - under the DHL name.
Among investors in the new company is Richard Blum of Blum Capital Partners, husband of Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.
Source: Transcript of Robinson's Aug. 25, 2003, deposition.
Thanks for posting it.
I think this article confuses DHL Air Cargo with the DHL courier delivery service. The two are now separate companies with DHL air cargo now being known as Astar air cargo. The DHL courier service has recently launched a major advertising campaign thanks to the deep pockets of its owner Deutsche Post.
Doesn't the story say that Astar purchased DHL?
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