Ken, questions about “Public” Sierra

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    • #24735 Reply

      Dear Mr. Williams,

      I was thinking the other day about something you had stated here on the site a while back about Sierra going public. I have never done any stock market business, but I was wondering, what would happen if I owned a large majority of stock in current Sierra? Let’s just suppose I managed to buy ALL the shares of Sierra? Would I have even 1% say in anything that goes on? Not that I truly plan on doing this, but just wondering!

      Just another geek’s idea of taking some control of a Sierra I feel has somewhat abandoned the fans that made it’s name worth putting on a box. (well I digress, there is LSL8 and they went back to the old logo 🙂

      Thanks for your time!

    • #24736 Reply

      (re: Ken, questions about “Public” Sierra) Sierra was acquired by another company that was also public – CUC. At the time of the acquisition, all of the shares of Sierra were bought by CUC, and Sierra stopped trading as a public company. All Sierra shareholders gave up their stock. If there is still any Sierra stock out there floating around – my guess is that it would be worthless.
      CUC itself was acquired about a year after they bought Sierra, by a company called HFS. All CUC shares were traded for HFS shares, and CUC shares stopped trading. HFS renamed itself Cendant, and swapped all the outstanding HFS shares for Cendant shares.
      About six months after this, it was discovered that CUC had been cooking their books for years, and that someone(s) in their senior management was crooked. Criminal investigations, and prosecution, are ongoing.
      About a year after all this, Cendant sold off the software business to a company called Vivendi, which owns Universal. Today, the only way to own stock in Sierra is to buy stock in Vivendi – which is a giant conglomerate. Sierra represents under 1% of their sales.
      Part of Sierra’s problem was that it was acquired by a crooked company – who mismanaged it – and, it has never recovered. No one would would have dealt with CUC had they suspected that anything illegal was going on. Not HFS nor Sierra. Unfortunately, bad guys exist not only in computer games, and innocent people get hurt (in this case Sierra’s employees, shareholders and customers).
      -Ken Williams

    • #44706 Reply
      Encino Stan

      Sometime in the early 90’s I made my first stock purchase. I bought 10 shares of Sierra-Online. I had a hard time finding a broker who would talk to a college student that only wanted to buy a few shares. Most required a purchase of a standard lot of 100 shares, more money than I had available. (Long before eTrade and online brokage firms.)

      I was finally able to obtain 10 shares of Sierra-Online that was trading at about $10/share. The commission was $10. So, I became a stockholder for the first time. $110 for 10 shares.

      I never sold those shares, but due to company takeovers, the shares were traded in for other shares over the years (often with cash dividends). I have lost track of how much money was paid over the years, but I do still have shares of 3 companies that are direct descendants of Sierra. That is, I never bought these shares, they were just traded in exchange from CUC, to Cendant, to Avis/Realogy/Wyndham, … now to Avis Budget, Wyndham, and Travel+Leisure.

      The 100 shares of Sierra-Online in 1990 is now 5 shares of CAR, 10 shares of WH, 10 shares of TNL.

      • #44708 Reply
        Ken Williams

        Incredible! I should have held on to a few shares….

        -Ken W

    • #45589 Reply

      I think that game and the Kroz series took up the majority of my pc gaming time as a kid.

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