Hain’s Irwin Simon Goes Shopping with a Reporter

As regular readers know, NBN is very aware of Irwin Simon’s ability to acquire companies, run them poorly, and still curry favor with Wall Street. Time and time again Hain’s touch has been leaden, transforming fast-growing brands into slower-growing and declining ones.

Yet after reading a profile of Simon and the company in this Sunday’s Long Island’s NEWSDAY one would believe Simon is the only thing keeping corporate giants from burning down organic farms, ransacking organic processing plants and taking away our children.

While Hain’s growth-through-acquisition strategy has been cleverly painted as the work of a master strategist developing strong brands, in reality Hain’s growth isn’t so rosy. Yes, Hain’s Simon is a master financier, yet when it comes to managing brands instead of money, his leadership leaves little room for admiration.

The fact is, Hain does a poor job with his new brands. And what’s more we aren’t sure that Simon’s that concerned. Instead, we believe he is betting that growth in the marketplace will benefit his brands no matter how poorly they’re managed.

Furthermore, as quoted in the story, Simon states that many of the companies he bought would have likely gone out a business.

“I’ve been looked upon as a big bad guy in the industry, because I’ve gobbled all these companies up. But I believe that if I didn’t buy them, they wouldn’t have stayed in business today. They were poorly run, and I’ve taken them to a whole other level.”

This claim Simon’s acquisitions have saved companies from failure is arguable. One might claim the opposite namely that, without Hain’s clumsy lead glove management, many of these brands would be more robust than they are today.

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