Say what you will about Bernie Ecclestone, but you cannot deny the fact that he has an eye for a good deal and the Midas touch when it comes to turning businesses around. With that preamble, I have to say that I wasn’t terribly surprised when I recently read the business headline that Bernie and an investment firm had placed a last minute bid to purchase the SAAB brand from struggling General Motors. In classic, Ecclestone style, the offer only came in after all other offers had been rejected and General Motors had started the process of winding up the company. How else can you be assured you’re getting the best price, if you don’t wait until the patient is pronounced dead and wheeled halfway to the morgue?
A young Bernard Charles Ecclestone first made a name, and a fortune, for himself selling motorcycle parts in Bexeleyheath, a suburb of South London. Success in the motorcycle parts business provided him with the means to expand his empire, into such diverse financial vehicles as real estate investments, loan financing, and even his successful management of the Weekend Car Auctions firm. Some have joked that he’s just a “used-car dealer,” but that’s perhaps envy of a very savvy businessman, who’s been successful at nearly every venture he’s put his mind to.
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