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Jun. 15, 1953
For a year, stockholders of Botany Mills, Inc., have had only bad news. President C. F. H. Johnson Sr., who built up the famed textile company, died in April 1952. The annual report for 1952 showed a deficit of $5,509,434, worst in the company's 64-year history. No dividends have been paid on common or preferred stocks since last fall. Last week the stockholders finally heard what sounded like good news: control of the company was being bought by Philadelphia's Bankers Securities Corp., headed by Albert M. Greenfield, who has made a specialty of buying sick companies and making them well.
The deal involved the sale of approximately 200,000 shares (out of 513444 outstanding), at an estimated price of $900,000, by Johnson's widow and son, C. F. H. Johnson Jr., who succeeded his father as Botany's head. At that price, control of Botany seemed a bargain, even though it is short of working capital. It has up-to-date plants and a five-year contract with Philadelphia's H. Daroff & Sons, makers of "Botany Brand 500" suits. Daroff agreed to buy 15 million yards of woolens at a cost of approximately $75 million.
Greenfield is still president of Albert M. Greenfield & Co., the realty firm which started him on his way in big business. His Bankers Securities Corp. also controls Loft Candy Corp., Hoving Corp. (Bonwit Teller), seven Philadelphia hotels and City Stores Co., (twelve stores). As if to show that one big transaction a week was an inadequate measure of his talents, Greenfield also announced a $4,000,000 modernization program for his Bellevue-Stratford Hotel.