Fjord Trading Company

Babson Professor Bill Bygrave, Case Director

Sam Perkins, Case Writer

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

© Babson College, 1996. All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

Fjord Trading (A) is a case about a management buy-in (MBI). The founding entrepreneurs cornered the market on a species of fish caught in Norwegian waters, but their company quickly grew out of control.

This case provides insight into team-building, working capital, and the nature of opportunity. When the case ends, the students are reading about the moment of decision: whether to sell half their company to older and wealthier partners. This case is supported by supplemental material that can be handed out in class. In the supplement, the new partners quickly grab control of the organization. Then as the conflict reaches a climax, new partners lock original partners out of the building and police are called to the scene.

In a powerful video tape recording, the entrepreneur talks candidly about many aspects of this experience. The case is best used in courses that focus on angel capital, valuation, growth management, family business, international entrepreneurship, strategic partnerships, and MBI's.

Location of the company: Seattle, Washington

Year(s) spanned by the case: 1992 through 1994

Industry segment(s): Fish importing

Stage of the company: Growth

Age of the entrepreneur(s): 20s

DVD

A 31-minute DVD is available for this case. It is a presentation to Babson MBA students by case principal, Carl Olson. Please place orders through ecch.

Teaching Notes

A ten page case teaching package, including the four page supplement, written by Joel Shulman and Dan D'Heilly, is available for this case. The teaching package includes strategies for case presentation, key concepts, solutions to the assignment questions in the case, and suggestions for the most effective ways to work this case into a course.