LESSON 10

A Little Help Goes a Long Way

WARREN SEES nothing wrong with asking for a little help from his business buddies.

When Warren made the deal to acquire furniture giant RC Willey in 1995, he asked CEO Bill Child if there were any other furniture industry standouts that he recommended. Star Furniture of Houston was at the top of the list. Star operated 12 stores—10 in Houston and 1 each in Austin and Bryan—and was planning to move into San Antonio as well.

But time went by, and there seemed to be no indication that the company was available. Then Melvyn Wolff, the longtime controlling shareholder and CEO of Star Furniture of Houston, decided that he wanted to talk to Warren. He asked Bob Denham of Salomon to set up a sit-down with Warren ...

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