America For Sale: How the Foreign Pack Circled and Devoured Esmark

Finance Roundtable

October 8, 2009: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Join us for what is sure to be a lively discussion by a fellow Booth alumnus regarding the meteoric rise and subsequent bidding war of his Chicago-based company. "America for Sale: How the Foreign Pack Circled and Devoured Esmark" explains how and why so many of our national treasures are falling into the hands of foreigners, using the steel industry and Esmark as the lead example. The story provides an insider’s glimpse at the fireworks surrounding a unique hostile takeover on Wall Street and the quiet ascent of a labor union to a renewed position of power in corporate America and in Washington, DC. In the process, the book attempts to create an economics road map to understand the politics of the Obama administration and the implications for our economy in 2010 and beyond.


Gleacher Center
Room 100
450 North Cityfront Drive
Chicago, Illinois

Event Details

Esmark was founded in 2003 at 25 cents per share, an enterprise value of $2 million, and revenue of $4 million. Esmark acquired nine steel companies throughout the Midwest states through 2008, including the celebrated hostile takeover of Wheeling Pittsburgh Corporation, which made Esmark a publicly traded stock on the NASDAQ. In doing so, Esmark accomplished the first hostile reverse tender merger in Wall Street history and became the 4th largest American steel company. The company was ultimately sold for $19.25 per share, an enterprise value of $1.3 billion, and 2008 revenue run rate of $3 billion. Esmark continues today with two operating oil companies in Oklahoma and Nebraska, and subsidiaries in Aviation, Health Care, Real Estate, and Sports Management. Over the past few years Craig Bouchard, President of Esmark, met and negotiated with the oligarchs of the global steel industry: Lakshmi Mittal (Mittal Steel), Ben Steinbruch (CSN), Vladimir Lissin (Novolipetsk Steel), the Ruia brothers (Essar Group), Victor Rashnikov (Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works), and Alexei Mordashov (Severstal). They now collectively control the North American steel market, a critical component to our national defense. In addition, interesting circumstances led Craig to meet individuals who have changed the landscape on Wall Street, including Jaime Dimon (JP Morgan), Jeff Immelt (GE) and Jeff Gendell (Tontine Partners). Perhaps the individual who Craig most dealt with in his career in steel was Ron Bloom of the United Steelworkers. Ron now runs the Obama Auto Task Force.


No Charge


Register Online

Deadline: 10/7/2009


6:00 PM-6:30 PM: Cash Bar and Networking

6:30 PM-7:30 PM: Speakers' Discussion

7:30 PM-8:00 PM: Audience Q&A

Speaker Profiles

Craig Bouchard (Speaker)
Former CEO, Esmark

Craig Bouchard founded Esmark with his brother Jim in 2003 with an investment of $2.4 million in a steel company in East Chicago, Indiana. The Bouchards demonstrated their commitment to shareholder value with the successful sale of Esmark to OAO Severstal in August of 2008. From 1998 – 2003, Craig was the President and Chief Executive Officer of New York based NumeriX, a high level mathematics based software company known as the risk management gold-standard to Wall Street’s global trading institutions. Prior to helping found NumeriX, Craig was a Senior Vice President at the First National Bank of Chicago, (now JPMorgan Chase). During his 19-year career at the bank, Craig was the Global Head of Derivatives Trading, Head of Institutional Research, and Head of Asia Pacific, residing in Hong Kong and Tokyo. In 1990-1993, Craig was the Managing Director of the Board of CCIC Finance, a joint venture merchant bank in China that was a partnership of First Chicago, Industrial Bank of Japan, and the Bank of China. In the 150-year history of the bank, with 40,000 employees at the date he retired, Craig was the 2nd youngest individual ever to rise to the level of Senior Vice President at the First National Bank of Chicago. Craig holds a Bachelors degree from Illinois State University (1975), a Masters Degree in Economics from Illinois State University (1977), and an MBA from the University of Chicago (1981). He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston University, and the Foundation of the University of Montana. He is an alumnus of Leadership Greater Chicago. Craig was elected to the Hall of Fame of the Illinois State University College of Arts and Sciences in 2008. He holds United States Patent 4,212,168, Power Producing Dry-Type Cooling Systems.


Vern Broders 


Other Information

Chicago Booth School of Business Alumni, Guests and Friends are invited to attend.