How we got started . . .
In 1980, W/F acquired a controlling interest in Pioneer Theatres, a drive-in theater company which also operates swap meets. While the initial attraction of Pioneer was the hundreds of acres of undeveloped land owned by the drive-in theater company, high interest rates in the early eighties made the development of those properties unrealistic. Nevertheless, the swap meet operations proved to be profitable and W/F continues to oversee and operate those businesses today.
In 1982, W/F acquired a controlling interest in Glendale Nissan from its near bankrupt owner, Bob Wright, one of the first Nissan dealers in the United States. From significant sold out of trust position at the time, the dealership expanded throughout the eighties and, ultimately, owned and operated seven new car dealerships with sales in excess of $100,000,000 a year. W/F sold its automobile dealership interests in 1989 but is currently negotiating to reinvest in this market segment.
In 1983, W/F acquired its first food service asset, an upscale restaurant in Manhattan Beach, California known as “Sausalito South.” The restaurant was sold in 1991 to the Chart House, a publicly traded company. As part of its “restaurant division,” W/F has also invested in Burger King franchises as well as other local and nationally known chains. W/F has owned and operated hotels (e.g., White House Spa & Hotel), a property management firm (JAG Management) and specialty stores. It has reentered this segment this year through RAP.
In 1985, W/F formed, capitalized and opened Century City Savings and Loan Association, a state chartered savings and loan association, in Los Angeles, California. After growing the association to more than $30,000,000 in assets, it was sold in 1989 to American Liberty Bancorp.
Today . . .
W/F now focuses on acquiring fiscally troubled public companies. With the assistance of W/F personnel, experienced lawyers, accountants, and managers, some of these companies undergo formal reorganization. Others are returned to profitability through the efforts of the W/F management team.
Utilizing the shares of these portfolio companies as currency, W/F has focused on acquiring strategic businesses, increasing the asset value of these businesses.