Friday, July 4, 2008

Interesting Ventures and Journeys

In the 1990's a computer distribution company by the name of CHS Electronics sprang up in Miami led by Venezuelan businessman, Claudio Osorio. The company in a matter of less than a handful of years rose meteorically to be one of the top information technology distribution companies, claiming to be in sales volume just behind industry giants such as Ingram Micro of Santa Ana, California and Tech data of Clearwater, Florida. CHS Electronics quickly filed and listed on Nasdaq (ticker symbol of CHSE) and soon after switched to NYSE (ticker symbol HS) .

Most of the sales of CHS on books, was done by a number of companies around the world that CHS had acquired on paper by the ferocious efforts of officer Antonio Boccalandro, promising to compensate the sellers of businesses by CHS stocks and options in a few years. The rise of CHS was truly meteoric, in 1998 it reported proforma sales of $12 billion. Yet the business model and structure of the company came to be questionable and caotic to say the least. The company was grossly mismanaged by its top officers, Chairman, President & Chief Executive officer Claudio Osorio, Chief Financial Officer Craig Toll and Secretary Antonio Boccalandro. There were allegations of tax fraud. Stockholder lawsuits claiming officers artificially inflated the share prices of CHS. Further owners of the businesses that CHS had acquired with a gluttonous appetite were unable to collect the monies owed to them by CHS. In addition CHS debts to vendors and creditors grew and went unpaid. In April 2000 it was reported that CHS filed for bankruptcy less than six years after the creation of its Utah holding company called Comtrad Holdings, Inc.

It is interesting to see what the former chief of CHS, Claudio Osorio is doing today. After stints in the PC gaming business now he is claiming to have come up with a wonder composite material which will allow him to build houses in a matter of weeks instead of months, with a very low price. He is claiming to be in the middle of building ten thousand houses for the poor of Haiti for a price tag of $5,000 each, Osorio even invited President Bill Clinton to his house (he titles the video: Clinton speaks about Innovida Oct) on Star Island of Miami Beach to give a speech related to the project that he now claims will help fight global warming. It is truly wondrous, but the material looks like card board which his company InnoVida touts in seminars as stronger than concrete! I would believe Mr. Osorio's claims if he demolished his house on Star Island and built it fresh with his revolutionary wonder building material supplied by his company which incidentally has former CFO of CHS Electronics, Craig Toll as its CFO. But, a more serious question arises: where is he going to get the money to fund the project? Is there some international organization that is going to give him that sort of money to build houses for the poor? Perhaps this time around Mr. Osorio as he has publicized on his own Youtube account named: Wisemaster2 is going to follow his wife's supposed lead as a benevolent and philanthropic human being who will now start helping people with his accumulated money. Or will he?

Related Links:
Merisel aquisition, USA, Latin America
Karma aquisition, Switzerland, Turkey
Dinexim (Dinoral) aquisition, USA, Argentina
Intcomex aquisition, USA, Latin America
Metro Vobis aquisition, Germany
SIS aquisition, Hong Kong
World Fund An Evening Under Stars
How Did it Double? Motley Fool
Finkelstein and Krinst Charges CHS Electronics with Tax Fraud
Class Action Lawsuit
Court Granting Motions for Disbursement of the Class Action Funds
Titan Ventures Management
Innovida Services
Innovida House