Style differences end merger plans of BHI, Cashell, Bully’s |

Style differences end merger plans of BHI, Cashell, Bully’s

NNBW staff

On second glance, the merger of Cashell Enterprises and Bully’s Sports Bar and Grill into Berry-Hinckley Industries wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Executives of the companies last week cited differing philosophies and management styles as they explained the reasons the deals fell apart.

“The companies simply have different operating styles and long-term goals that were not compatible,”

said Paul Morabito, the chairman and chief executive officer of Berry-Hinckley, as he explained his decision to pull the plug on his company’s merger with Cashell Enterprises.

Paul Sonner, the president of Bully’s, cited similar reasons for his decision to pull out of a merger with Berry-Hinckley.

“We just realized that there were some core strategic differences that would make a long-term partnership difficult so we decided to part ways,” Sonner said.

Said Rob Cashell, the president of Cashell Enterprises: “As we worked through the various business issues, we came to the conclusion that our companies’ styles and long-term goals weren’t compatible.”

Morabito, meanwhile, expressed regret that the deal with Bully’s fell apart, calling it “an unfortunate casualty” of the failed merger with Cashell Enterprises.

“Bully’s is an amazing brand that we would have been honored to have been associated with,” Morabito said.

The merger of Berry-Hinckley Industries and Cashell Enterprises both of them based in Reno would have brought together the Winner’s Corner retail chain and the petroleum operations of Berry-Hinckley with the Alamo Truckstop in Sparks and Topaz Lodge near Gardnerville owned by Cashell Enterprises.

That transaction was announced in April, and would have created a company with annual sales of about $600 million. At the time, the companies said the merger depended on the completion of due-diligence studies and the execution of final documents.

“The incentive to do the merger was operating and executive synergies that upon deeper investigation simply did not seem attainable for either party,” Morabito said.

In the merged company, Rob Cashell the son of Reno Mayor and Cashell Enterprises founder Bob Cashell was to be president and chief operating officer of Berry-Hinckley.

Cashell noted that Cashell Enterprises continued to operate independently of Berry-Hinckley during the merger negotiations, and the end of the talks shouldn’t result in any operational changes.

When the Bully’s merger was announced in June, Sonner said the combination would help provide the capital the 12-year-old sports-bar company needs for expansion. He was to serve as president and chief operating officer of Bully’s after the proposed merger.

Bully’s plans to open a location in Fernley in November, another in Minden in 2007, and locations in the North Valleys, Damonte Ranch and Spanish Springs areas in 2008.

Berry-Hinckley, meanwhile, is building several Winner’s Corner centers in the region and is managing its acquisition this spring of a chain of 11 convenience stores and gas stations in Scottsdale, Ariz.