Business Profile: Timothy Collins

ByABC News
June 6, 2005, 2:19 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa, June 7, 2005 — -- Timothy Collins, the man behind theproposed purchase of Maytag Corp. by buyout firm RipplewoodHoldings, attributes much of his success to luck. But the grandsonof Kentucky tobacco farmers acknowledges a knack for analyzingbusinesses with problems and knowing how to bring them back toprofitability.

Collins, 47, best known for buying failing Japanese businessesincluding the former Long-Term Credit Bank, now faces the challengeof growing Maytag's global business while dealing with therepercussions of the possible closing its headquarters factory inNewton, Iowa.

Collins offered to pay $1.13 billion on May 19 for Maytag, thenation's third largest appliance manufacturer -- behind WhirlpoolCorp. and General Electric Co. -- saying it fits into his investmentstrategy of finding companies he can improve through an infusion ofmoney and improved management.

Collins dismissed criticism by shareholders and analysts thathis $14 per share offer is undervalued. Several shareholder groupshave said they plan to vote against the deal and some have filedlawsuits to halt the sale.

"We've been looking at this industry for five or six years andwe've been looking at this company for 15 months. I think if wedidn't think we were giving the shareholders a full and fair price,we wouldn't have raised our hand to do this," Collins said in atelephone interview with The Associated Press.

He said Ripplewood and its co-investors plan to provide Maytagwith the capital needed to invest in its core business and makelong-term decisions, freed from the pressure of showing quarterlyresults as a public company.

"I don't know how to operate businesses. I know how to findguys who do, and I know how to do a lot of industry analysis andstrategic analysis and I know how to invest," Collins said.

Collins was born in Frankfort, Ky., to a family that forgenerations owned a tobacco farm. After completing a master degreefrom Yale and working in a series of management jobs, he foundedRipplewood Holdings -- named for his grandmother's tobacco farm -- in1995.