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Off-Balance Sheet: Hercules Goes After Todco


While Hercules is involved in numerous markets, he has limited experience in the energy sector, which some see as a potential liability.


Relax, it's only money. Here in the 'Ville we like to keep things smart, but we also love to laugh. All work and no know how it goes. With that in mind we give you The "Off-Balance Sheet," a place where Minyans can experience humorous takes on the world of finance, personal stories from our Professors and Minyans and all the other stuff that makes life worth living. So take a break from the flickering ticks and dive in.

Today's Wall Street Journal reports that Hercules Offshore (HERO), just one of the many companies in which Hercules has taken a controlling interest recently, will acquire oil and natural-gas driller Todco (THE) for $2.4 billion in stock and cash.


The deal would be a first for Hercules, the son of Zeus and great-grandson of Perseus. While Hercules is involved in numerous markets, he has limited experience in the energy sector, which some see as a potential liability.

"Although he wasn't as clever as Odysseus or Nestor, Hercules used his wits on several occasions when pure strength did not suffice-like when he labored for King Augeas, wrestled the giant Antaeus, or tricked Atlas into taking the sky back onto his shoulders. But oil? That's a whole different ball of wax," an industry source said.

Hercules CEO Randy Stilley, known to colleagues as "Prometheus," was quoted in the Journal as saying, "It's quite likely we'll see other opportunities to acquire additional rigs in the future, both in the Gulf of Mexico as well as several international locations."

Where might those international locations be? The Aegean Sea is certainly a strong possibility. There are rich oil beds near the islands of Lesbos, Lemnos and Samothrace, and, as an added bonus, Hercules would be close to home.

Hercules is just one in a long line of Greek gods that have made their fortunes in the business world. For example, Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, headed up the Fixed Income department at Lehman Brothers (LEH) from 1989 to 1994.


Another success story was that of Aristaeus, son of Apollo and the huntress Cyrene. Aristaeus, the patron god of cattle, fruit trees, hunting, husbandry and beekeeping, was Chief Operating Officer of Dole Foods (DOL), where, as the patron god of fruit trees, he led the company to years upon years of explosive growth.


And, of course, there was Phaeton, who, as Marketing Director of Volkswagen AG (VLKAY), helped the company launch its first luxury sedan, the aptly-named Phaeton.



Time will tell whether or not the purchase of Todco by Hercules is a wise move. The skeptics, including Medusa, Pleiades, and Cephalus, agree that Hercules should not be pushing into sectors in which he is not a proven player. On the other hand, Phoebus, Achilles, and Ajax the Lesser believe Hercules is without equal and, as Phoebus says, "The guy can do pretty much anything he puts his mind to. I mean, come on-he's Hercules."
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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