ABnote Timeline

ABnote has a merger-filled history, with one specific interesting-though-confusing merger occuring in 1990. Here’s an overview.


In 1968 Edward Weitzen becomes president of the nearly bankrupt conglomerate B.T. Babbitt, Inc. He changes its name to B.T.B. Corp and focuses the company’s efforts on specialty printing.

1969, Weitzen acquires American Bank Note Company.

In the mid-1970s, US Banknote Company is a subsidiary of GIT Industries (formerly GIT Realty & Mortgage Investors). Morris Weissman and Stanley Kreitman take GIT private, and in 1981 they and one other partner buy the whole company.

In 1972 Weitzen changes American Bank Note Company’s name to International Banknote Company, Inc., with American Bank Note as its principal subsidiary.

1986, Weissman and Kreitman dissolve GIT and concentrate on security printing. US Banknote Company L.P. becomes a separate entity privately owned by the two men.

1989, a proxy fight for control of International Banknote’s board is averted when International agrees to merge with U.S. Banknote for $104 million. To avoid an antitrust challenge, U.S. Banknote created Banknote Corp. of America, Inc., which it then sold to Francois-Charles Oberthur Group. This is considered ‘creating competition’ because the sale gives Oberthur entry to the American market.

A proxy fight is a technique used by an acquiring company to gain control of a takeover target. The acquirer tries to persuade the shareholders of the target company that the present management of the firm should be ousted in favor of a slate of directors favorable to the acquirer. If the shareholders, through their proxy votes, agree, the acquiring company can gain control of the company without paying a premium price for the firm.

The merger is completed in 1990, and International Banknote and U.S. Banknote Company L.P. merge to create American Banknote Corporation. Banknote Corporation of America Inc. is a totally distinct entity owned by Oberthur.

via Answers.com, “American Banknote Corporation“, “Proxy Fight

Noble, Barbara Presley. “Making a Difference: Making Money by Printing It.” New York Times. 5 May 1991.


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