Billion Dollar Entrepreneur

  • Peter Lynch

JPE.com may be the coolest private equity website I’ve seen. It has one page (excluding Contact), and just lists the professional accomplishments of the man behind the fund: Bradley S. Jacbos. Turns out he has founded or co-founded four companies, all of which became multi-billion dollar entities:

In 1997, Mr. Jacobs co-founded United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) to capitalize on the early-stage consolidation opportunities in the construction equipment rental industry in North America. Under his direction, United Rentals achieved industry leadership in just 13 months, with a brand globally recognized for its quality of operations and depth of resources.

As chairman of United Rentals from 1997 through 2007, Mr. Jacobs’ strategic vision was instrumental in helping the company attain $3.9 billion in revenues, with more than 700 branch locations, 13,000 employees, and a ranking as the 536th largest public corporation in America by Fortune magazine. During his chairmanship, United Rentals stock outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 2.2 times.

In 1989, Mr. Jacobs founded United Waste Systems, Inc. During his eight years as chairman and chief executive officer, he built the company into the fifth largest solid waste management business in North America. United Waste Systems generated pre-tax margins that were among the highest in its industry. Its stock outperformed the S&P 500 Index by 5.6 times and delivered a 55% compound annual rate of return from IPO until the company was sold for $2.5 billion in 1997. At the time of sale, the company had 40 landfills, 86 collection companies and 79 transfer and recycling stations in 25 states.

In 1984, Mr. Jacobs founded Hamilton Resources (UK) Ltd., a worldwide oil trading company, and served as its chairman and chief operating officer through 1989. During that time, he grew the company to annual revenues of approximately $1 billion through the execution of numerous large contracts with major oil companies and oil-producing countries and complex countertrade transactions.

In 1979, Mr. Jacobs co-founded Amerex Oil Associates, Inc. and served as its chief executive until the company was sold in 1983. Mr. Jacobs led the team that grew Amerex from a concept into one of the world’s largest oil brokerage firms, with an annual gross contract volume of approximately $4.7 billion and offices in Houston, London, Tokyo and New Jersey. He oversaw all aspects of the business, including brokerage activities for refined petroleum products, residual fuels and energy futures, and personally directed all brokerage operations for international and domestic crude oil.

I came across the website while reading the 10-K for XPO Logisitics, where he is presently the Chairman and CEO. According to the filings, Jacobs Private Equity, LLC is the largest stockholder. With so much invested, it will be interesting to see what he accomplishes in this role. He is certainly not timid. In the letter to shareholders he lays out his 2014 objectives in bold type:

“By year-end 2014, we expect to be on annual run rates of $2.75 billion in total revenue and $100 million in EBITDA. We anticipate acquiring at least another $400 million of revenue in 2014, excluding Pacer.”

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned.