I am half-ashamed to admit that I knew almost nothing about the Pritzker family before today, but it is somewhat instructive to compare this article from Wednesday, Dec 26 2007:
“This transaction is the culmination of a process that began six years ago,” said Tom Pritzker in a statement. “We brought John Nichols in as CEO and began rebuilding Marmon’s existing lines of business. Berkshire Hathaway’s decision recognizes the fine work of our management team over this period and the transaction is being done in the context of the previously reported restructuring of our family business interests.”
Just four years after the patriarch’s death, one of America’s wealthiest families is being torn apart by sibling rivalry and resentment. The fourth generation has become so divided that the only solution the cousins can agree on is to break up the empire into equal pieces and go their separate ways. Hyatt may be forced to go public, take on partners, or be mortgaged. And Marmon Group, the $6 billion-a-year industrial crazy-quilt that Jay and his brother Robert crafted, is likely to be sold off. The ideals of their forebears — formalized in Pritzker records as the “Family System” and best described as all for one and one for all — did not sustain them for long.
What a nice Christmas present this Berkshire deal must be for the family. I hope that it helps them to move past the friction reported in the earlier story…