Goin’ Public

I don’t usually delve into the family bidness here, but my dad’s recent wheelings and dealings are pretty interesting. As friends and family may know, he’s currently running a company called Prestige Brands, Inc., which is basically a hodgepodge of name brand consumer products, like Comet, Chloraseptic, Compound W, Cutex, and Clear Eyes (if it starts with the letter C, it’s all good). Most of these brands were neglected by former owners, and my dad’s company has been fabulously successful at reviving them and manufacturing the products for less than behemoths like P&G ever could.

So, about two months ago, the investment bankers came a callin’. They spent most of January and early February dragging my dad around the country on one of those grueling “road shows,” where he’s supposed to wow potential investors. And then on February 10, at last, the company went officially public. It was a huge success — alarmingly so, as I think Prestige Brands is now worth like a bajillion dollars on paper.

My dad and his colleagues were supposed to ring the opening bell on the big day, but for some reason the turkeys at the NYSE bumped them for New Century Financial Corp. (I mean, come on, those dudes weren’t even going public!) Anyway, the Prestige team was invited back last Thursday to officially do the honors. I got a pic of the event, which I’ll paste below.

As you can see from the close-up of my dad’s expression, instead of pressing the “ring bell” button, as instructed, he accidentally hit the one labeled “incite market panic.” Not very slick.