Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the largest rental car company in the United States. Its fleet topped the 500,000 mark for the first time in 1999 and revenue hit $4.7 billion, up 13 percent from 1998.
Enterprise, which now has more than 4,000 locations worldwide, has evolved quite a bit since it was founded in 1957 by Jack Taylor, who is now chairman of .the firm.
Taylor, a pioneer in the car leasing business, started operations with 17 cars in the basement of a Cadillac dealership. He and his son, Andrew Taylor, who is president and chief executive, built the business by focusing on customers who need cars because of accidents or repairs to their own vehicles, or for short trips.
In the last year, the company embarked on a new strategy -- airport car rentals. Enterprise has counters in 45 airport terminals, including one that opened about a year ago in Lambert St. Louis-International Airport. Altogether, it serves 96 of the top 100 U.S. airports, with off-site locations at those airports where it lacks counters. The company says it sets airport rental prices 20 percent lower than higher profile airport competitors.
In addition, Enterprise launched a new online national reservation service (www.enterprise.com).
Enterprise not only rents cars -- it sells them. The Missouri Motor Vehicle Commission said Enterprise sold 15,601 used cars in 1999, making it the largest car seller in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
The company won approval March 15 from the Clayton Board of Aldermen for a major expansion at its headquarters in the Clayton Corporate Office Park, on the west side of Brentwood Boulevard south of Forest Park Parkway. Enterprise plans to build three buildings -- two five-story structures and extend its parking garage.
Enterprise also announced that it expects to receive approval to begin building a 100,000-square-foot data center in Weldon Spring.
Last year, the company received the "five-star standard" from the MIT Enterprise Forum. Five-star companies -- including Enterprise, Microsoft Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and International Data Group -- must post revenue growth of at least 20 percent from one year to the next, earnings growth of at least 15 percent from year to year, employment growth of at least 5 percent annually, positive cash-flow growth for the previous four consecutive quarters and positive shareholder equity growth during the past four consecutive quarters.
Enterprise also was honored for leadership and innovation with the 1999 CIO 100 Award from CIO Magazine. In April, J.D. Power and Associates gave Enterprise its highest rating for customer satisfaction; the company shared the highest score with Hertz. Both posted a 109, compared to an industry average of 103.
Clark USA Inc.
In 1999, Clark USA faced its most difficult operating environment in 15 years, said Bill Rusnack, president and chief executive of the Clayton-based oil refiner.
At the start of last year, gasoline retailers inventories were high, reducing the demand for Clark's products. At the same time, OPEC was tightening production of crude oil, raising the price of Clark's main input.
"We make money on the Margins, and Last year left us with a very small margin," Rusnack said.
To combat the hostile market, Clark launched a $715 million overhaul of its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, about 70 miles east of Houston on the Gulf Coast.
Clark will upgrade the facility to refine a lower grade of crude oil, which will lower costs and add about $250 million to Clark's pretax earnings each year, Rusnack said.
"This is by far the largest investment Clark has ever made," he said.
For the project, the oil refiner raised $580 million in debt financing, along with $135 million in equity from its two owners, the Blackstone Group and Occidental Petroleum.
After the financing for the project closed last August, the Blackstone Group, a merchant bank in New York, owned 80 percent of Clark, with Occidental Petroleum controlling the remaining 20 percent.
Clark also tried to purchase a refinery in Roxana, Ill.; from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a joint venture of Shell and Texaco. However, the two companies could not agree on price, and negotiations have been suspended indefinitely, Rusnack said.
Despite the tough year, Clark reported $4.5 billion in 1999 revenue, up from $4 billion in 1998.
Last May, Clark sold its retail marketing unit to private investment firm Apollo Management L.P. for $230 million. The deal with Los Angeles-based Apollo included nearly 700 gas stations and the Clark brand name. Rusnack said he was pleased with the sale price.
The transition completed Clark's strategy of concentrating the business solely on refining oil.
With the marketing unit and its brand name sold, Clark plans to change its name to reflect its main focus. Rusnack said the new name will be announced in the second quarter.
Clark employs 550 people in the metro area and 2,500 across the country. Marshall Cohen is the company chairman.
Graybar Electric Co.
The Clayton-based distributor of electrical equipment has been steadily ascending Forbes' list of the nation's largest private companies. It's at 30 on the latest list, up from 35 a year ago and 43 the year before that.
The company has been revamping its distribution system, adding customers and suppliers, and making acquisitions. Revenue in 1999 came to $4.3 billion, up 16 percent.
Customers can buy 1.1 million electrical and communications products from 3,800 manufacturers via Graybar, including wire, tools, transformers, lighting fixtures, power transmission equipment, telephone equipment; such as private branch exchanges, and fiber optic products. In addition to contractors, Graybar sells to industrial plants, telephone companies, utilities and other commercial users. It has subsidiaries in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Singapore and Canada.
It is one of the three largest distributors in the United States and the largest not affiliated with a manufacturer.
Over the past two years, Graybar has opened the first seven of 16 planned regional zone distribution centres, including its largest ever, a 300,000-square-foot facility in Fresno, Calif. The idea is to cut back on stockpiling of items at branch locations. Gear customers often need the same day will still be on hand at branches, and most other items will be available from a distribution center the next day.
For decades, Graybar was part of Western Electric, but employees bought it for $9 million in 1929. Employees still own the firm through a trust, though shares in the trust are voted by management and retirees.
The company added more than 1,000 workers over the past year, brining the total to 8,700. It employees 741 in St. Louis.
Graybar bought three companies in 1999 -- electrical distributors in Monroe, N.C., Ocala, Fla., and Hartford Conn. Terms were not disclosed.
While part of Western Electric, Graybar got into distribution. But it was a maker of telegraphic and other electrical equipment before that. An Oberlin College professor named Elisha Gray founded the company in Cleveland along with Enos Barton, who borrowed $400 from his mother to get started.
Gray lost out in a court battle with Alexander Graham Bell over the patent for the telephone, but he held more than 50 patents on electrical devices, which helped Gray & Barton thrive.
The company has a tradition of promotion from within. Chief Executive Carl Hall, 61, is a 40-year Graybar veteran who started out in Cincinnati as a warehouseman. He took over in 1995.
Peabody Group is the World's largest coal company and a leading U.S. power marketer, fueling more than 9 percent of the United States' and 2.5 percent of the world's electricity.
Its products and services reach more than 180 power plants and 40 industrial facilities in the United States, as well as customers in 18 other countries. In addition, Peabody's Boston subsidiary, Citizens Power, ranked among the largest power companies in the nation.
Managing the growth is Irl Engelhardt, the chairman and chief executive; Mark Maisto is president and chief executive of Citizens Power.
Peabody has 300 employees locally and 7,800 people internationally.
The company had nearly $2.4 billion in revenue in 1999, ranking it No. 54 on the Forbes 500 list. Revenue in 1998 was about $2.24 billion.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2000, the company lost $32.5 million on revenue of $1.95 billion.
Last year, Peabody boosted its stake in the Black Beauty Coal Co. of Indiana to 81.7 percent with a $150 million investment. Peabody also expanded its presence in the Pacific Rim with increased production at the Moira mines in Australia and new production at Bengalla Mine in New South Wales.
However, the company continues to face a soft market on the East Coast and operating difficulties in Appalachia.
Despite critics of the coal industry, coal is still king. Even with companies blamed for scarring the land to find new veins and the pollution caused by burning the fuel, coal production is increasing and is cheaper than many alternative forms of energy.
Peabody is part of that increase. It has locked a billion tons in backlog delivery contracts -- including agreements for coal supplies of more than 250 million tons over the next 10 years.
In 1998, Peabody became one of the largest leveraged buyouts in the United States during the 1990s. Lehman Merchant Banking Partners bought the business from Texas Utilities Co. Texas Utilities spun off Peabody after buying Peabody's British parent, Energy Group PLC.
St. Louis historically has been Peabody's base, even through those ownership changes.
Maritz is an-old-line sales incentive company in its fourth generation of family management but stodgy it's not. The company is keeping up with the times via partnerships in global travel and beefed-up Web development capabilities.
In April 1999, a competing consortium of international corporate travel companies called Global Travel Management broke up. Maritz acquired the Global Travel Management name, and pooled many of those members with its own international network to create a larger consortium that operates more than 1,250 offices in 39 countries.
Norm Schwesig, director of corporate administration for Maritz, said more and more employees at its corporate clients are using Web pages to check up on the incentives and awards provided through Maritz programs. Maritz has set up so many Web sites now -- over 400 in the last year and a half -- that the company is considering getting into the Web development business, Schwesig said.
Maritz, with 1999 sales of $2.3 billion, started out in 1894 as a jewelry distributor. The founder was Edward Maritz, great-grandfather of Steve Maritz, who took over as chief executive in 1998.
Edward died in 1929 just before the Great Depression arrived, forcing his son James to give birth to the incentive business to survive. To boost sales, James began selling watches as service awards in the 1930s.
Now, Maritz headquarters take up 210 acres in Fenton -- its all-white Christmas tree lights stand out on both sides of a quarter-mile stretch of Interstate 44 during the holiday season.
The Maritz Performance Improvement Co. operating division still handles the employee-incentive business. Other major divisions include Maritz Travel, which manages corporate travel. It also manages travel awards earned through incentives, and helps clients with the logistics of business meetings.
Maritz goes head-to-head with American Express in handling corporate travel, but it has a number of joint ventures with the company. One of them, American Express Incentive Services, sells incentive award products to corporate clients. The joint venture sells debit cards that clients give to employees. The employees can take the cards to participating retailers and have the clerk swipe their incentive card just like a credit card.
The Maritz family holds all the voting stock of the company. Several hundred of the 6,500 employees at the company hold nonvoting stock. Bill Maritz, 71, turned over day-to-day management to his son Steve, but remains chairman. Steve Maritz, 42, is chief executive and president. Two other sons, Peter and Phillip, are board members, though neither is an employee.
Mills & Partners Inc.
Mills & Partners Inc. entered into a new business venture last July, when it purchased a majority stake in Courtesy Corp. Inc.
The injection molding manufacturer of plastic parts for the food and beverage industry has 1,500 employees and is based in Buffalo Grove, III.
Mills, an investment and buyout firm, also acquired two other companies in 1999: PAGG Corp. in April and Kalex Printed Circuit Board Ltd. in August.
PAGG and Kalex joined one of Mills' existing companies, Viasystems Group Inc.
Mills & Partners, led by chief executive and chairman James Mills, plans to acquire up to four additional companies in 2000, said Larry Bacon, senior vice president of human resources.
In addition to Courtesy Corp. and Viasystems, Mills controls International Wire Group Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of wire products.
The company employs 15,900 people, 68 of whom work in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Mills' revenue in 1999 was $2 billion, compared with $2.4 billion in 1998.
Reyenue for 1999 "certianly met our expectations," Bacon said. "With acquisition activity, it can make such a difference."
This year, the company's goals are to expand its injection molding manufacturing business through acquisitions and to lead one of its companies through an IPO.
"The biggest project we have at present is our intention to take Viasystems public at the end of March," Bacon said. "It seems to be on target."
Viasystems is one of the world's largest independent manufacturers of printed circuit boards and back-plane assemblies and services for customers in a variety of markets, including the telecommunications, computer, automotive, military, consumer electronics, industrial, medical and instrumentation industries.
Schnuck Markets Inc.
Schnuck Markets Inc., St. Louis' dominant grocery chain, continued to add real estate and volume in 1999.
Led by chairman and chief executive Craig Schnuck, 51, Schnuck Markets Inc. opened four stores in 1999: a 17,000-square-foot Schnucks Express in Affton; a 59,000-square-foot Supercenter in Washington, Mo.; an 87,000-square-foot Supercenter in Peoria, Ill.; and a 53,000-square-foot store in Pekin, Ill. The latter store was converted from a Mr. K's Super Saver and was the company's first store in that market.
In keeping with the growing demand for prepared foods, Schnucks debuted an extensive carry-out concept at its remodeled store at Layton Road and Lindbergh Boulevard. The store offers fresh-grilled items plus an expanded selection of gourmet foods.
Schnucks closed a money-losing store at North Oaks Plaza, one of the properties acquired in the National Stores buyout more than four years ago.
Schnucks has 93 stores and more than 17,000 employees, including 67 stores and nearly 13,000 employees in the St. Louis area.
Revenue last year was $2 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 1998.
The family-held grocery empire is now run by an experienced and relatively youthful third generation: Scott Schnuck, 49, is president and chief operating officer; Todd Schnuck, 41, is corporate vice president and chief financial officer; Terry Schnuck, 47, is general counsel and secretary; Mark Schnuck, 44, is vice president of shopping center development and operations and president of The DESCO group, the real estate arm; Nancy Schnuck Diemer, 35, is director of community affairs.
The family was named 1999 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
This year, the company is on pace for more growth. It opened an 87,000-square-foot Logli store in Rockford, Ill., in February, the fourth Logli store in that area. Schnucks bought the Logli Supermarkets chain in 1998.
Work has begun on a 62,000-square-foot Schnucks Supercenter in Arnold, and construction is expected to start this spring on a 62,000-square-foot supermarket and retail development in Wentzville.
UniGroup is the parent company of United Van Lines, Mayflower Transit, UniGroup Worldwide, Vanliner Insurance Co., Trans Advantage and Pinnacle Group Associates. Under the leadership of president Robert Baer revenue hit $1.88 billion last year, a 3.9 percent increase over 1998.
"It's function of aggressive sales and the reputation of the company," said Cliff Saxton, vice president for communications. "We handle a lot of corporate business, and, of course, that is dependent on the economy."
United Van Lines ranks No. 1 in the market with a 24 percent market share based on professionally-handled intercity moves. Mayflower holds a 10 percent share of the same market.
UniGroup is owned by a 250 person ownership group: active agents of United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit, active agents of UniGroup's overseas transportation companies and many senior managers. None owns more than 1 percent of the shares.
The company now known as UniGroup was founded during the 1920s in the Cleveland.
The company moved in 1947 to Maplewood and reorganized into its current form. After another move to downtown St. Louis, it relocated headquarters again in 1963 to Fenton, where it has remained. More than 1,500 UniGroup employees are based there.
In Fenton, UniGroup provides support services for all of the operating companies, including human resources; facilities management; mail and supply centers; purchasing; food services; corporate travel; advertising; public relations and corporate communications; corporate finance; information technology and legal services.
St. Louis-based Edward Jones, known for its 5,700 branch offices, is expanding in the St. Louis area.
The firm has announced plans to lease 420,000 additional square feet of office space, giving it a total of 1 million square feet of owned or leased property in the St. Louis area. The additional space is made up of 208,000 square feet at 700 Maryville Centre and 218,000 square feet in a building to be built at Manchester Road and Interstate 270. The investment company plans to use the space for the firm's growing workforce, the result of plans to reach 10,000 offices in the next four years.
Revenue for 1999 was nearly $1.8 billion, up from $1.4 billion in 1998. John Bachmann, who one was a broker with Edward Jones, is now the managing partner.
Edward Jones serves more than 4 million clients and advises individual investors exclusively
The company is the successor to Whitaker & Co., which was established in 1871 and dissolved on Oct. 1, 1943, when Edward D. Jones & Co. was established. The company is owned by its senior management, who invite employees to join and invest in the limited partnership.
Within the past six years, the company has added several legal entities. Those have included Edward D. Jones & Co. Canada Holding Co. and Boone National Savings and Loan Association. The savings and loan purchase has allowed Edward Jones to offer trust services to its customers in all 50 states. In 1998, Edward Jones Ltd. was formed in London.
The firm has 5,440 branches in the United States, 259 Canadian branch offices and 86 in the United Kingdom. The company ranked seventh in Fortune magazine's list of the best companies to work for in 1999. Edward Jones has 19,592 employees, 3,000 of whom work in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
Center Oil Co.'
Founded in 1986 by Gary Parker, Center Oil distributes gasoline and other petroleum products throughout the United States.
Parker moved to St. Louis in 1976 to join Apex Oil, but decided to go out on his own instead. He now heads Center Oil as chairman, president and chief executive.
According to Richard Powers, chief financial officer and treasurer of Center Oil Co., in 1999 the company completed the relocation of its St. Louis corporate office to Studt Avenue, occupying more than twice the space it had before.
Center Oil had revenue of $1.6 billion in 1999, the same as in 1998. Its 30 employees all work here.
There are plans to increase the staff, Powers said, and Center Oil is "aggressively looking for new outlets to distribute our products."
Harbour Group Ltd.
Harbour Group Ltd. is a holding company that purchases manufacturing companies, then turns them around, so they are run more efficiently and profitably.
Since it was founded by Sam Fox in 1976, Harbour Group has acquired more than 120 manufacturing firms nationwide. It averaged nearly one deal a month in 1999, and for 2000, it's on an even faster pace, with three purchases by mid-February.
Acquisitions so far this year include Krusin International Corp., a Canadian supplier of drywall-related tools and fence gate brackets; Jacumin Engineering and Machine Co., a textile equipment manufacturer in Icard, N.C., and Marshall and Williams Co., a textile equipment maker in Greenville, S.C.
Revenue in 1999 was an estimated $1.502 million, up slightly from $1.5 million in 1998.
Fox, who is chairman and chief executive, follows the same strategy with each acquisition: invest heavily in new technology, equipment and management know-how, then consolidate similar operations to cut costs and boost efficiency. The company recoups its investment by taking acquisitions public or selling them to other firms.
The strategy has resulted in sales and profit growth of more than 25 percent, compounded annually, in industries that typically have growth rates in the single digits.
Fox has said the key to success is selecting the right people for the right job, and. Harbour Group executives are specialists in the manufacturing sector.
Among the executives are Fox's sons Greg and Jeff Fox, who is Harbour Group's president. Another top executive, James Janning, had been president and chief executive at Allied Healthcare Products, one of five companies Harbour Group has spun off as a public firm.
Fox, who formed Harbour Group after stepping down as chairman of Diversified Industries, is considered one of the most savvy investors on Wall Street. A few years back, Financial World magazine ranked him No. 7 on its Wall Street 100 list, with an estimated gain of $190 million in 1996.
Apex Oil Co.
Apex Oil Co., run by Paul "Tony" Novelly, has made a $92 million offer to acquire Crown Central Petroleum Corp. in Baltimore. That offer on March 10 was for $9.20 a share, 85-Cents a share more than a competing bid from Rosemore Inc.
Apex has been pursuing Crown since last fall but had not submitted a formal offer. Apex's overture was serious enough that in January this year, Crown instituted a "poison pill," which company officials said was needed because of Novelly's attempt to buy the company. (Rosemore is aligned with Crown's top management. Rosemore is made up of family members of Crown's chief executive, Henry Rosenberg Jr.)
The buyout saga started early in 1999, when Crown hired Credit Suisse First Boston to explore options for the company. Apex, Crown's second largest shareholder, made a play for Crown in November.
Apex already owns 15.4 percent of Crown, and Credit Suisse determined that Novelly was a qualified buyer. But Apex never returned the forms on a confidentiality agreement.
Locally, Forsythe Centre Associates, an affiliated company Novelly heads, is building Forsyth Centre, a 245,000-square-foot highrise in Clayton, near the southeast corner of Maryland Avenue and Forsyth Boulevard.
Novelly also is a partner in St. Albans Properties, a residential and commercial development on 5,400 acres that straddle St. Louis and Franklin counties. In 1998 he donated 20 acres to CBC High School for a west St. Louis County campus.
Novelly, an avid skier, at one time owned the Colorado Copper Mountain ski resort, but he sold it to Intrawest Inc., a Vancouver resort development company, which placed Novelly on its board.
Apex's revenue was estimated at $1.5 billion for 1999, compared with $1.6 billion the previous year. The company expects revenue to rise in 2000 with the rising price of oil.
Novelly, a one-time Shell Oil Co. auditor, has been with Apex since Sam Goldstein, then Apex's chairman, brought him into the business in 1969.
Bridge Information Systems
Bridge Information Systems is poised to move forward as a unified company after making a series of acquisitions and generating $1.2 billion in 1999 revenue, up from $900 million in 1998.
The world's second-largest financial information provider has grown nearly 10 times its size four years ago through acquisitions. Bridge has merged with seven independent market data and technology companies.
In April 1999, Bridge announced another acquisition, Clayton-based Savvis Communications Corp., which the company took public last month. Bridge gained roughly $49.7 million in the IPO before expenses.
By the middle of this year, Bridge plans to fully integrate its acquisitions, said Tom Wendel, president, chairman and chief executive.
"Our acquisitions have driven Bridge's growth, but this year, I expect our growth to be more organic," Wendel said.
Bridge's drive to grow has paid off. The Waters Survey, a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. marketplace for financial information' providers, shows Bridge's information was accessed more in the equity, money and off-trading markets than its closest rivals, Bloomberg and Reuters.
Wendel attributed Bridge's success to its diversification in various information technologies and its products' compatibility with other systems.
Bridge hopes to lend its technical flexibility to more clients interested in business-to-business e-commerce, Wendel said.
In addition to its information business, Bridge operates one of the largest floor brokerage networks on the New York Stock Exchange, with comparable systems on the American Stock Exchange and international markets. It executes up to 2 percent of the NYSE average daily volume.
In 1995, Bridge was bought by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stow, a New York-based private investment firm. Though technically head quartered in New York, Bridge's hub of operations is based in Creve Coeur.
"We like to say St. Louis is where our heart beats," Wendel said.
The company has a $50 million expansion planned for its Creve Coeur campus, which would add underground parking and office space.
Bridge employs 950 people locally and 5,000 worldwide.
Prairie Farms Dairy Inc.
Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. manufactures such products as milk, ice cream and novelties, half-and-half, cottage cheese, sour cream, yogurt and butter. It has 19 plants that include processing, manufacturing and distribution operations: six ice cream and ice cream mix plants, two frozen treat plants, two cottage cheese plants, sour cream and yogurt plants and one butter plant, along with three warehouses.
Revenue was an estimated $935 million in 1999, compared with $933 million in 1998.
The company saw some management shifts in 1998 as corporate officers retired and Fred Kuenstler was named the company's new president. That trend continued in December with the retirement of Don Kullman, who was with Prairie Farms Dairy for 33 years. He retired as vice president of marketing, procurement and planning, and now works for the company part time as an administrative consultant.
Gary Lee, formerly assistant vice president of marketing and procurement, replaced Kullman. Tom Weber, formerly assistant vice president and assistant controller, became vice president of accounts and assistant secretary.
On Jan. 1, 1999, the company completed the purchase of the Holland Dairy in Holland, Ind.
Prairie Farms in 1989 had acquire Pevely, which was founded in 1887 and remained a market leader from 1904 when the World's Fair led to the company's excellent reputation for quality dairy-products.
Prairie Farms also owns PFD Sup ply Corp., Ice Cream Specialties an East Side Jersey Dairy. The company has joint ventures with a number o companies, including Hiland Diary Co. in Springfield, Mo.; Roberts Dairy-in Omaha, Neb.; Muller-Pinehurst Dairy in Rockford, III.; Ideal American Dairy in Evansville, Ind.; and Madison Farms Butter Co. in St. Louis.
Powerhouse general-contracting company McCarthy hails itself as "the oldest privately owned construction firm in the United States."
Founded in 1864, McCarthy was incorporated in 1907 and has been owned by family members ever since. Michael McCarthy, who succeeded his father as president in 1976, serves as chairman.
In December, Michael Bolen was named chief executive, the first non-family member to hold that position. Michael Hurst has served as president of the company since 1995.
McCarthy's $850 million in revenue makes it the largest construction firm in St. Louis, and 22nd largest in the nation. In generating that revenue, McCarthy has worked on some high-profile projects. Michael McCarthy said the company just completed "the world's largest parking garage," at Disneyland -- with an even larger one in the works.
It also is building the new Academy Awards complex in Hollywood.
Projects here include the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, a contract worth $52 million; the BIG Health System expansion project worth $90 million; the St. Louis City Justice Center worth $65.4 million; a biotechnology research building for Sigma Chemical Co. worth $40 million; and the Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correction Center worth $110.3 million. The correction center will total 7 million square feet and is the largest "public works" project going on in the state of Missouri, according to company literature.
The company divides projects into five categories. Hard-bid projects in which the company is awarded a lump-sum contract for construction services; construction management, in which subcontractors are used; general contracting projects where the company has maximum control by not using subcontractors; design/build projects where the company is responsible for all phases of a project from planning through construction; and the newest service, called "compass service," which is aimed mainly at the health-care industry.
In order to accommodate nationwide growth, McCarthy has divided into five regional organizations, and each is capable of providing the entire range of services the company offers. The St. Louis office (referred to as the Midwest office) handles all their business east of the Mississippi. The largest branch offices are in California, including the second-largest in Newport Beach, and others in Sacramento and San Francisco.
The company also maintains offices in Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas, Dallas and Portland.
Michael McCarthy said the company is looking to open another office in the Southeast. The company has 530 local employees, and 2,000 nationwide.
ACF Industries, the 101-year-old train car manufacturer, also is doing business on the Mississippi River these days with a leasing subsidiary it started last year.
The subsidiary owns eight barges that it leases to shippers and about $150 million worth of rail cars that it leases to freight companies in North America.
Carl Icahn took ACF private in 1984 and has since made it part of his investment empire--nearly half of its revenue comes from investments.
But ACF operating divisions also have been expanding steadily in recent years, including its core railroad car business. Revenue came to an estimated $777 million in 1999, up from $775 million in 1998.
Early this year, the first tank cars rolled off the line at its new plant in Marmaduke, Ark., which will turn out about 10 cars a day when it hits full production by late this summer, said ACF chief executive Jim Unger. The plant represents a $55 million investment.
Employment at ACF comes to 3,500, and Unger said the company is looking to hire another 300 to 400 this year.
ACF also recently completed a steel rolling mill at its Paragould, Ark., facility, where it builds hopper cars and also operates a painting and lining facility. Unger said, so far, all the steel is going into ACF's own cars, but it hopes to start selling steel to other users later this year.
The company's expansion got into high gear in 1998, when it sold part of its fleet to GE Capital. Out of the proceeds, $100 million went into the new lease-finance company as capital. ACF also has been using the money to expand its plants.
ACF traces its history to 1873, when the St. Charles Car Manufacturing Co. was established to take over the repair shops vacated by the North Missouri Railroad.
The present-day company was formed in 1899, when 13 railroad equipment manufacturers from around the nation, including St. Charles Car Manufacturing and Missouri Car & Foundry, merged to form the American Car & Foundry Co. (ACF} At onetime, it owned Carter Carburetor; Fageol Motors Co., a. bus builder; Hall-Scott Motor Car Co., a maker of bus engines; and J.G. Brill Co., a streetcar builder. When Carl Icahn took ACF private in 1984, he sold most of these assets, along with divisions that did everything from drilling for oil to making polymer plastics.
J. S. Alberici Construction Co. Inc.
It was another big year for J.S. Alberici Construction Co. Inc., a general contracting firm founded here in 1918 by John Stanislaus Alberici.
Some of the larger projects the company started in 1999 include renovations at Verhaegen Hall at Saint Louis University and the "DR" model expansion program at the Daimler Chrysler. plant in Fenton.
Current out-of-state projects include construction for Detroit Water District No. 2 and a parking garage for the Northwest Airlines terminal at Detroit's airport.
Alberici reported $850 million in contract awards during 199.9 and recorded revenue of $672.9 million.
The company is recognized for construction of several St. Louis landmarks, including the Kiel Center the Science Center and The Municipal Opera.
Also last year, the company was one of 27 construction firms nationwide to earn the International Standards Organization 9002, a certificate measuring the quality of any manufacturing or service operation.
In March, the company launched a new strategic plan focused on accomplishing external improvements such as increasing its presence in the Atlanta market and broadening the scope of services provided in the preliminary stages of projects and after their completion. The previous strategic plan, implemented in 1995, addressed internal improvements companywide.
As part of that, Alberici recently completed a 50,000-square-foot steel fabricators paint facility on the grounds of its headquarters on Kienlen Avenue.
In spring 1999, chairman Gabe Alberici, 91, fell at his home, causing him to scale back his work load.
"Perhaps the most significant event of the year was not having Gabe Alberici with us every day at the office," said Bob McCoole, president and chief executive. "Gabe is doing fine at home, but we don't have him in our meetings and available (or advice and guidance on a day-to-day basis."
Despite his absence, Alberici has not retired and has retained his title, McCoole said.
Founded in 1960 as a small construction firm by Fred and June Kummer, HBE Corp. grew into one of the nation's largest private companies. It' ranked No. 417 on Forbes magazine's list of largest privately held companies.
Revenue in 1999 was $670 million, compared with $572 million in 1998.
Fred Kummer is president and chief executive. Other officers include Gene Kemp, chief financial officer; Matt Nail, design and construction chief operating officer; Steve Paquette, design and construction chief financial officer; Fred Kummer III, hotel division senior vice president; Ron Clifford, executive vice president for health care business development; and Paul Barrath, executive vice president for the financial facilities division.
HBE's design and construction of health care and financial facilities includes more than 750 projects, with a total value of $7 billion. The company has done work in every, state but Alaska.
HBE has an Adam's Mark hotel division, with more than 11,000 rooms in 16 markets, including Buffalo, N.Y.; Charlotte, N.C.; Clearwater Beach, Fla.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Indianapolis; Kansas City;' Memphis, Tenn.; Mobile, Ala.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; San Antonio; Tulsa, Okia.; and Winston-Salem, N.C. Its St. Louis hotel, located downtown, has 910 rooms.
Spectrum Healthcare Services
Spectrum Healthcare Services provides contract services to niche markets. Spectrum operates two major units -- Correctional Medical Services and Spectrum Healthcare Resources.
Correctional Medical provides health-care services to 260,000 inmates in 27 states, representing about one of every seven inmates in the United States. In 10 states, CMS operates statewide inmate health-care services programs, and in 1999 the unit landed contracts to provide inmate health-care services for Wyoming and expand the services in Maryland. In addition, the firm's contract with the State of Michigan has been extended for four years.
CMS also began providing inmate health-care services to more county correctional facilities last year in New York, New Hampshire and Iowa.
Spectrum Healthcare Resources is a leading provider of civilian health- care clinicians -- physicians and mid-level providers -- and other employees.
The unit also provides management services for military branches to military retirees and dependents. The company uses more than 600 physicians and nearly 1,600 other healthcare professionals.
Spectrum started as a St. Louis company. It never left here, but it was part of Philadelphia-based Aramark for 18 years, until 1997.
That year Julian Carr Jr., chairman and chief executive, led a management buyout.
The company's revenue grew to $574 million last year from $446.4 million in revenue in 1998.
The Creve Coeur firm has 7,500 full-and part-time employees nationally. Of those, 370 are based in the metropolitan area.
Through separate subsidiaries, Siegel-Robert Inc. manufactures plastic parts for automobile makers and other industries; manufactures electronic component packaging and probe cards for the semiconductor industry; makes plastics for high-performance, rugged portable computers, over-pressure and vacuum relief devices; office furniture; gas detection systems; air sampling instruments; and miniature air and liquid pumps. The company had estimated revenue of $547 million in 1999; the previous year, it was $545 million.
With Ford Motor Co. close to divesting its auto parts company, executives at Siegel-Robert Inc. see more opportunities to grow.
Michael Honigfort, vice president with the auto parts supplier here, has told trade publications that the divestiture means Siegel-Robert will have another parts customer for its products.
Siegel-Robert produces plated exterior trim pieces for Ford, and when Ford sheds its Visteon parts business, Siegel-Robert likely will be selling parts to both companies, Honigfort said.
Halvor Anderson is chief executive officer. He took over several years ago, after the death of the late Bruce Robert, whose widow, Mary Robert, is chairman. The Robert family owns the business.
The manufactured plastic parts are sold to industries requiring molding, plating, painting, other decorating processes and assembly operations.
Siegel-Robert has manufacturing and distribution plants throughout the United States and in Europe and Asia. Its St. Louis headquarters is at 12837 Flushing Meadows Drive, and the local plant is at 8645 S. Broadway.
Outsourcing Solutions Inc.
With a new owner and moreresources at its disposal, Outsourcing Solutions Inc. intends to boost growth by acquiring more Companies.
Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, purchased the company in December for $800 million from McCown De Leeuw & Co., a New York-based private equity firm. The deal allows Outsourcing to draw, funds from a larger pool for mergers and acquisitions, said Timothy Beffa, president, chief executive and chairman.
Outsourcing Solutions collects debts and purchases charged-off debt from large credit grantors, including American Express, AT&T and Citigroup. It also provides outsourcing services for non-core business activities to clients.
It had $523 million in 1999 revenue, up $44 million from 1998.
Beffa said the company's gains are partly due to reorganization. Last year, Outsourcing; which was a conglomerate of related companies, split into three strategic business units: outsourcing, collection and portfolio services.
Within each unit, work is organized around key industry sectors: health care, credit cards, financial services, government, telecommunications, utilities, education and commercial sectors.
Outsourcing Solutions employs 7,200 in more than 50 call centers nationwide. Forty-five people work at its Chesterfield headquarters, and about 50 people are employed at its Earth City call center.
The company also has formed partnerships that extend its reach to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Lou Fusz Automotive Network
Lou Fusz Automotive Network is a car giant in St. Louis, with 18 dealerships. The family-owned business; founded in 1952, sells a wide variety of automobile brands: Buick, Saturn, Dodge, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Subaru and Toyota. The company reported 1999 revenue of about $514 million; 1998 revenue were nearly $454 million.
Chief Financial Officer Pete Ramey said the company last year finished a new Saturn dealership in Creve Coeur and opened a Saturn dealership in Columbia, Mo. It also opened a $1.2 million Mitsubishi dealership in St. Peters early this year.
Its Web site -- www.loufusz.com -- allows users to estimate car payments, determine car features and apply for credit online, Ramey said. The site is a growing part of the company's business, he said. "We feel that we're selling more and more cars and assisting people in buying cars with the site," he said.
Lou Fusz Sr. is chairman of the board. His son, Lou Fusz Jr., is president and chief executive. Lou Fusz Jr., is brothers also hold positions in the company: Dan Fusz is general manager of Saturn operations; Paul Fusz works in fleet sales; and Phil Fusz manages the Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealership at Lindbergh and Page.
Chemetco Inc.'s Web site, www.chemetco-inc.com, bills the company as "one of the world's largest secondary copper smelters." Revenue was estimated at $500 million in 1999, according to the Web site.
The company is a member of the St. Louis Minority Business Council. Dan Suarez is president.
Copper-bearing scrap goes into Chemetco's furnaces in Hartford, Ill., to be turned into copper and resold. The company buys everything from wire to floor sweepings. Besides copper, it extracts tin, lead and other metals and trades them and other metals, including aluminum.
According to the Web site, the company has four top blown rotary furnaces, each with capacity of 70 tons, and a high capacity wire chopper. It can process about 23,000 tons of copper-bearing scrap each month.
Chemetco takes the environmental responsibility off clients' hands when it buys scrap, becoming a "home of final disposition" for materials it buys. It promises to destroy any trademarks that come in on the scrap, since it consumes the materials whole. The company also buys computer monitor glass as well as sand, materials that normally are difficult to dispose of.
It operates a network of warehouses from Mexico to Canada that buy scrap. This allows the company to buy from customers in quantities smaller than a trailer load, according to the Web page.
Dierbergs Markets Inc.
The family-owned Dierbergs supermarket chain continued its tradition of growth in 1999, opening a new store in November in O'Fallon, Mo. That brings the total to 17 stores and about 4,300 employees. The new store helped Dierbergs increase revenue by $25 million from last year, bringing it to a reported $500 million for 1999.
Chief Executive Robert Dierberg, grandson of store founder William Dierberg, said a major step was a state-of-the-art, 90,000-square-foot central kitchen facility in Bridgeton. Years in the planning, it opened in. June with the goal of consolidating some food preparation to increase quality control. The, facility employs 45 to 100 people, depending on the season.
Dierberg said many proprietary items are produced there, such as bakery items and some to-go foods. The facility has sophisticated equipment that his son Greg Dierberg, director of perishables for the company said, "allow us to control the integrity and overall quality of out products."
The equipment includes a giant colander, designed by the family and staff in collaboration with the manufacturers. It can be lowered electronically into boiling water to cook items such as pasta. Then it is electronically transferred to an ice bath, chilling in a way that better preserves the integrity of the food, Greg Dierberg said.
Other family members involved in the company include Robert Dierberg's cousin Roger Dierberg and daughter Laura Dierberg Padousis, store operations manager. Plans for 2000 include a store opening in Fenton in August. Another store is proposed, but not yet approved, for Brentwood next year.
Gilster Mary Lee Corp.
Sales for private-label food maker Gilster Mary Lee Corp. in Chester, Ill., took a healthy jump last year to an estimated $470 million from $468 million in 1998.
The closely held company, which started out as a flour mill in 1985, has about 90 stockholders and is headed by Donald Welge, 64, great-nephew of the founders. His brother Michael, 59, is executive vice president, secretary, treasurer and chief financial officer. Donald Welge's sons Tom and Robert also work in the business.
The company has grown through acquisition in recent years, snapping up $60 million Jasper Foods of Joplin, Mo., in 1999. There are more acquisitions in the pipeline, Welge said, but none he could announce.
Hoover's lists the company as the second-largest private label cereal maker in the United States, behind Ralcorp Holdings. The company employs about 3,500 people at plants in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas and in Colorado.
Gilster Mary Lee has greatly expanded its product line, from cake mixes in the 1950s to private label cereals, macaroni noodles, spaghetti and popcorn. Customers include grocery chains and wholesalers nationwide.
Active in Chester, where it employs about 150 people, the company supports organizations ranging from the Boy Scouts to church groups. Donald Welge is president of privately-held Buena Vista Bank in Chester. Michael Welge is chairman and president of Chester National Bank, a public bank.
Computer Sales International Inc.
Computer Sales International Inc. sells and leases information technology and other equipment to major corporations throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
It generated revenue of $464 million in 1999, up from $309 million in 1998.
"We finished our 28th year of profitability," said chairman and chief executive Kenneth. Steinback, the majority owner of the employee owned company. "We attribute that to a more mature sales staff and continuance of customer loyalty."
CSI plans to focus on becoming a solution provider, including offering increased technical assistance to customers, Steinback said.
In April 1999, CSI bought McKenzie Hughes Computers Ltd., based in Sheffield, England.
We've had equipment in Europe before, but never offices," Steinback said.
The company's previous general counsel, Steve Hamilton, moved to Sheffield to serve as managing director at McKenzie Hughes.
CSI has 211 employees at its St. Louis headquarters, 51 in other U.S. cities and 15 based in England. It has several operating subsidiaries, including US Computer Corp., Executive Personal Computers, PARTEC Inc. and ReCon Services.
World Wide Technology Inc.
People are beginning to recognize that they need an e-business strategy, said David Steward, World Wide Technology co-founder, chairman and chief executive. With e-business, he said, companies "can devastate their competition."
Steward and co-founder Jim Kavanaugh own the company.
Closing in on its 10-year anniversary, World Wide Technology is taking its own advice and reaping the benefits of e-business. In 1998, revenue was nearly $203 million, and the company predicted it would hit $301 million in 1999. Instead, revenue jumped to about $413 million.
"I see no end to what can be done to grow this business," Steward said.
To that end, the company has launched three e-business portals. Fedbuy.com is aimed at government buyers of computer equipment; Ugsource.com is aimed at computer-aided design engineers; and Telcobuy.com offers consulting and products related to the telecommunications industry.
Telcobuy.com landed a $25 million investment from a pair of Boston venture capitalists. The business-to-business e-commerce site already had revenue of $240 million last year as a division of World Wide.
Kavanaugh stepped down from World Wide to head Telcobuy.com. The new company, which is preparing to go public, is majority-owned by World Wide and is moving into a refurbished building on World Wide's Weldon Parkway campus.
In 1999, World Wide added 200 more employees in St. Louis and about 100,000 square feet of office space. Having added 61 people since Jan. 1, Steward. Said the company is hiring 35 to 40 people a month.
A new office was opened in Cincinnati in 1999, and other branch offices are located in San Diego; Dallas; Kansas City; Herndon, Va.; and London. World Wide has continued its partnerships with Lucent, Cisco, Oracle and Sun Microsystems. Steward said World Wide's relationship with Lucent reflects about $60 million to $70 million of the company's revenue.
Dave Sinclair Automotive Group
Starting with a single Ford dealership in south St. Louis County Dave Sinclair St. has built an auto empire that spans new and used vehicles of various makes and models.
Sinclair and his family own the company.
The Dave Sinclair Automotive Group includes Dave Sinclair Ford, the original business established in 1966; Dave Sinclair Buick GMC Truck, acquired in 1994; and Dave Sinclair Lincoln-Mercury and Dave Sinclair Oldsmobile, both purchased in 1997. All the new car dealerships are in south St. Louis County.
The group reported revenue of more than $399 million last year.
The company also has a presence in Metro East, with Dave Sinclair Used Cars in O'Fallon, Ill.
Sinclair Ford has ranked in the top 10 Ford dealerships nationwide for nearly two decades, "and it's No. 1 on the St. Louis Business Journal's list of largest auto dealerships for 1999. The Buick GMC Truck dealership ranks No. 16, and the Lincoln-Mercury dealership comes in at No. 22.
Sinclair would need a full-size van to fit the four sons and three sons-in law he's brought on board to help run the company.
John Sinclair is general manager of Dave' Sinclair Ford. Dan Sinclair runs the Oldsmobile dealership and James Sinclair oversees the Lincoln-Mercury operation. David Sinclair Jr. and son-in-law Tony Godfrey are at the Buick GMC Truck dealership. Son-in-law 'Mike Detweiler handles services operations at all stores; financial operations at each store fall to son-in-law John Willett.
Sinclair has put a few cars out on the Internet as well, although he's somewhat skeptical about automobile sales that way.
"It's a shopping tool, not a buying tool," he said. "I don't know if it will ever be a buying tool, because the buyer can't see the car and the dealer can't see their trade-in.".
He's also invested heavily in Business Partners, a program the Dave Sinclair Automotive Group launched in 1997 to serve nonprofit organizations in the community. Through Business Partners, Sinclair dealerships provide $50 discounts to car buyers who work for the nonprofits. The program also grants wishes to terminally ill children, the elderly and others who need help.
It's run by Carol Venegoni and Sandy Mallory, both directors of public relations at Dave Sinclair Automotive Group. Venegoni said the company has spent about $100,000 on the program.
A landmark on the St. Louis riverfront for more than 100 years, Nooter corp.
named a new chairman and chief executive in 1999.
Frank Martin, then vice chairman, was promoted Oct. 1, replacing George Bouckaert, who retired at the end of 1999 after more than 40 years at Nooter.
Martin, 63, began his career as a sales engineer at Missouri Boiler and Tank Co., a former division of Nooter, in 1959.
He was elected to the company's board of directors in 1983 and made corporate vice president in 1986. He also serves as president and chairman of Nooter's corporate subsidiary, St. Louis Metallizing Co.
Nooter -- Whose slogan is "Metal-masters of the World" -- Consists of 13 business units dealing with various aspects of metal work technology, fabrication and construction.
In addition to its headquarters and plants in St. Louis, the company has operations in Pennsylvania, Houston, Dallas, Montreal, England and Austria.
Nooter Corp. has a longstanding program whereby employees share in ownership of the company. Today, one-third of Nooter's 1,200 employees own stock.
The corporation saw revenue grow 7.6 percent, from $367 million in 1998 to $395 million in 1999.
Nooter companies include: Nooter Fabricators Inc.; Nooter/Eriksen Inc.; Nooter Construction Co.; Wyatt Field Service Co.; St. Louis Metallizing Co.; Pressline Services Inc.; Nooter Consulting Services; Bedarco Nooter Inc.; Schoeller-Bleckmann Nooter Apparatetechnik GmbH; and Superior Corporate Travel.
First Banks Inc.
First Banks Inc. already is the largest privately owned bank in the United States. But chairman and chief executive James Dierberg has ambitious plans -- he wants to double the bank's size in five years.
In order to focus on acquisitions and growth, Dierberg last year handed off the presidency of First Banks to his long-time right-hand man, Allen Blake, formerly the executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Blake and Dierberg have worked hand-in-hand on a series of acquisitions that began in 1994, with purchases in Texas and California. Many of those properties are now part of First Banks America, a publicly held operation. More than 80 percent of the public firm's stock is controlled by First Banks Inc., in which Dierberg and his family control all the stock.
Revenue in 1999 was $394.7 million, compared with $364.5 million in 1998.
Although the acquisition pace has slowed a bit, Dierberg is still buying other financial institutions. There have been four purchases since January 1999: Redwood Bancorp, a $200 million bank based in San Francisco; Century Bank, a $156 million bank based in Beverly Hills; the Malibu branch of Brentwood Bank of California, with $17.3 million in deposits; and Lippo Bank in San Francisco, with $85 million in deposits.
The acquisitions were "strategic fits," Dierberg said. "Last year was a year of consolidation more than anything."
The bank also has been beefing up its commercial business activity. FB Commercial Finance, an asset-based lending subsidiary launched in 1997, originated more than $100 million in loans in its first two years in business and currently holds commitments totaling more than $80 million.
First Banks got into the leasing business Feb. 29, with the purchase of some assets and liabilities of First Capital Group in Albuquerque. N.M. First Capital had $64.5 million in total assets, consisting almost solely of commercial leases.
Dierberg anticipates much of the growth in the next few years to be internal, but he would not rule out more acquisitions, including purchases in the St. Louis area.
The e-commerce boom has spurred growth at Pinnacle Automation, which develops materials and information flow systems for warehouses.
"We've seen a 40 percent increase in our e-commerce systems," said Stephen O'Neill, president and chief executive. "We've had orders from almost every major Web retailer."
He said e-tailers used to have most orders filled by independent distribution centers. But after some ordering mishaps during the 1999 holiday season, many companies decided to internalize warehousing and distribution operations. Some of these companies sought Pinnacle's expertise.
The company posted $384 million in 1999 revenue, up more than $384 million from 1998. Pinnacle consists of four companies: Alvey Systems Inc., The Buschman Co., RTS Inc. and White Systems Inc. It integrates the products each company makes and brings them to customers.
St. Louis-based Alvey manufactures package conveyors, high-speed sorters, palletizers and other materials handling equipment. Buschman, headquartered in Cincinnati, designs and builds warehousing systems that use transportation and accumulation conveyors as well as merge and induction equipment. Berkley, Calif.-based RTS Inc. offers software systems that manage distribution operations and San Diego-based White Systems provides automated storage and retrieval systems.
In December, FKI plc, a publicly held British engineering group, purchased Pinnacle for about $368 million. The acquisition makes FKI the second largest materials handler according to Modern Materials Handling magazine.
Pinnacle is owned by current and previous executive officers and directors as well as Vestar Equity Partners and Chase Equity Associates. It employs 2,000 people, 450 locally. William Michaels is chairman.
O'Neill said as soon as FKI completes its acquisition, he and other senior members of Pinnacle's management will leave.
Kranson Industries Inc.
Kranson Industries Inc. changed ownership during 1999, but its strategy stayed focused. It aims to be the big firm swallowing up the smaller ones in the consolidating consumer products packaging industry.
Kranson, with revenue of about $334 million in 1999, has the financial backing of Code Hennessy & Simmons, a Chicago investment firm that paid $200 million for a majority interest in Kranson in October. Most of the shares were purchased from Bain & Co., a private equity firm that held Kranson shares since 1997. Management and family members also sold some shares, but Richard Glassman, president and chief executive, and chairman Ken Kranzberg still have an ownership interest.
It's the first time majority …