Chapter 7 - The Secondary, February 3 - March 28, 2000 - Episode 12Listen to podcast
The company raises about ninety-five million dollars net of commissions. Larry and Louise sell 270 thousand shares for over twenty-six million after commissions but before taxes. Donna gets 9.5 million; and Frank Folger and Aaron Smyth a little over six million each.
Windaw & Wallar gets thirty-eight million dollars; ad-Ventures 34.2 million; Big Router Ventures 47.5 million; and assorted other venture firms 22.8 million. These are home runs for the venture firms. The shares they sold for a net of ninety-five dollars each cost them, on the average, two dollars per share. Larry and venture firms other than Big Router expect to get substantially more when the shoe is sold. Barcourt and the other banks earn almost ten million dollars in commissions.
After the call-back to Barcourt in New York to tell them the price has been approved, the hackoff roadshow team, except for Jason, who is visiting a fraternity brother in Milwaukee, leaves the Pfister for the airport. Donna goes to the public terminal to fly to San Francisco where she is joining her husband for what she describes as a celebratory ride through the Napa Valley. So only Larry and Rachel board the jet for New Jersey.
“How does it feel to be so rich?” Rachel asks Larry a little while after take-off. The copilot has their dinners warming in the microwave and they are drinking red wine and eating plump shrimp.
“Not so good so far,” says Larry. “Maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet. Maybe the money isn’t real yet. It doesn’t feel good to have priced at so much less than we thought we would. Remember, we were over 150 dollars when we got into this. I feel like we’ve been playing defense for the past couple of weeks and still getting pushed backwards.”
“Larry, you couldn’t have done better in this market. I’ve been talking to my colleagues who are on the road with other companies. It’s brutal out there. For the first time people are actually worried about deals getting done. And I hear there are some companies that aren’t going out right now because the bankers want to wait and see. Anyway, I brought you something to celebrate.” She pulls a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 Proof out from under the seat where she arranged for it to be stowed. “Skol, as Gustav would have said.”
“Thank you,” says Larry. “That’s very considerate. You remembered my favorite indulgence. I must’ve told you the story…”
“You told me that you used to drink something awful in college.”
“Kentucky Beau. Kentucky Beau was all I could afford,” says Larry. “I swore I wouldn’t drink it any longer than I had to. Just like I swore I’d stop selling blood once I didn’t need the money for dates. Been drinking better stuff and giving my blood away ever since I could afford to. Except when I was in jail; they don’t let you give blood in jail.” He pours and swallows a large gulp.
“That must’ve been a strange time.”
“You mean being in jail or drinking Kentucky Beau?”
“Well,” says Larry, “it was an experience most people don’t have. As my Israeli friends like to say ‘that which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger’. In my case it was literally true. I wouldn’t have been able to start in the security consulting business if I hadn’t confessed to ‘Gotcha’. And, if I hadn’t had that business, no hackoff. And then I wouldn’t be rich and worrying about how that feels. Anyway, I’m not in jail now and I AM drinking Wild Turkey. Thanks for bringing it aboard.” He takes another big swallow.
By the time the copilot gives him his steak, Larry is woozy from the Wild Turkey and spills gravy on his white shirt, tie, and suit pants. “Shit,” he says, then laughs. “Well, don’t need the suit tomorrow. I guess this is the right time to spill on it.” He takes the tie off, balls it up, and throws it in a trash receptacle.
“Now you’re acting like a rich guy,” says Rachel. “Tie gets dirty, you throw it away.” She giggles.
“You know,” says Larry, “before the IPO roadshow Louise had to go out and buy me a dozen white shirts. Bankers told her that’s what I’d need.”
“It was me that told her,” says Rachel. “But I only told her ten. You need a two week supply since the first week gets laundered while you’re out for the second week and then you can use those again for the third week.”
“Yeah, well I’m sure Louise got ‘em cheaper by the dozen,” says Larry still trying to mop gravy off his shirt. “Or else…” He laughs. “Or else she figured I’d spill on some of them. She knows me pretty well.”
“How does Louise feel about all of this?” asks Rachel.
“Don’t really know,” says Larry. “She’s like me. I mean we haven’t let ourselves really believe in it, don’t really believe in it ‘til it happens. Now we’ll have to see. Of course, her aunt wants to come and help us manage all our money. And so does every other banker and investment advisor in the world.”
“Louise’s aunt is a banker?”
“Yeah, she’s at Merrill. Does ‘wealth management’. How’s Ahmed?”
“Oh, about the same as when you asked me driving down from Boston — that was fun, that night.”
“Still not romantic?”
“No, I don’t think that’ll change. But he is coming to the airport in Linden to pick me up when we get in. That’s sort of romantic. He knows Barcourt would have gotten a car for me.”
Larry has another drink. He offers some Wild Turkey to Rachel who refuses. “It’ll grow hair on your chest,” says Larry.
“No thanks,” says Rachel. “You must know from Louise, us Jewish girls don’t try to grow any extra hair.”
Larry laughs hard. “That’s funny,” he says. “I must be getting drunk. I don’t think it would be that funny if I wasn’t … if I weren’t getting drunk.” He has a hard time controlling his laughter. Finally does, and has another drink when he can stop laughing long enough to swallow.
“Thank you, Rachel,” he says. “The Wild Turkey was very thoughtful of you. Seriously, you did a good job for us on the roadshow. It was a tough one, but you did a good job. I’ll be sure to tell Harvey Maklin.”
“Thanks,” says Rachel. “That would be helpful. It was a pleasure being on the road with you … with you and Donna. It’s good to watch a pro in action.”
“Me or Donna?” asks Larry. His eyes are slightly unfocused.
“Both of you,” says Rachel. “Good to watch PROS in action. You’re different, though.”
“I certainly hope so,” says Larry. “I mean I never modeled swimsuits.”
“Did she really do that? I’d heard that but didn’t know if it was true.”
“Yup. I’ve got the Sports Illustrated she was in at home. I’ll show it to you sometime.”
The jet stream is strong and blowing due east this evening so the trip is a short one and soon the small jet is on final approach to Linden Airport, the closest strip to Atlantic Highlands with a long enough runway.
“Good job, Larry,” says Rachel softly just before landing. She leans forward and kisses him on the cheek.
He reaches for her shoulder to embrace her but misses as the plane bumps down and she is pushed back in her seat. “Good job, yourself,” he says.
By the time the airstairs are down, Louise and Ahmed are waiting at the bottom. Louise has red roses tied with a yellow ribbon. Ahmed has an umbrella for the light rain.
“You’re drunk,” says Louise gently as Larry trips on the lowest step.
“Thanks for the roses,” says Larry. “I always know you’ll be waiting for me. I think we did it this time. I spilled on my shirt, too,” he adds.
They embrace and kiss. Ahmed and Rachel embrace chastely.
“I hear we have a friend in common,” says Ahmed as the two couples walk back to the small terminal under a combination of Ahmed’s umbrella and one provided by the copilot.
“Really, who?” asks Larry.
“Mr. Assan. I represent him here in several matters.”
“Mr. Assan? I’m not sure I…”
“He met with you in Davos. Perhaps you are very tired now and…”
“Oh,” says Larry, “Mahmud. You mean Mahmud. Not sure he’s a friend, but we certainly did meet in Davos.”
“He sends his best,” says Ahmed.