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• The Wall Street Journal has a piece about Erivan Haub, the longtime CEO of Tengelmann, who, in the late seventies, “implanted the company deeply into the U.S. by acquiring a controlling stake in Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., operator of the A&P grocery chain, by then long past its prime. Mr. Haub and his son Christian spent more than two decades struggling to revive the chain. They couldn’t stop its slide toward a liquidation that has played out over the past few years.”

According to the story, “When he bought control of A&P in 1979 - initially with a 42% stake and later raised above 50% - it was a leap into the unknown. ‘I had never seen its headquarters, I had never seen its balance sheet,’ he told the Inquirer. ‘Only based on the name of that one great company, I believed there were hidden assets there.’

“There were also hidden traps. Within a year, amid continuing losses, Mr. Haub told reporters he had underestimated A&P’s problems, including high costs and poor locations. Mr. Haub’s team persuaded A&P to set up a new chain of no-frills grocery stores under the Plus brand, but they bombed.”

A&P, the story notes, has gone out of business. Erivan Haub passed away at his Wyoming ranch on March 6. He was 85.

• H. Wayne Huizenga, who built businesses that included the Waste management garbage disposal company, Blockbuster and AutoNation, in addition to three Miami sports franchises — the Florida Marlins, Florida Panthers and Miami Dolphins - has passed away. He was 80, and was being treated for cancer.
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