OLD Media Moves

Humor in the Wall Street Journal

February 4, 2006

Sanjay Parekh, a blogger and founder of Digital Envoy, was amused on Friday to find some humor in a Wall Street Journal article about Burger King’s IPO.

Parekh wrote: “In an article (subscription required) about the upcoming IPO of Burger King, the Wall Street Journal sent out a snippet of how the private equity firms who currently own Burger King (Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners) are taking a $400 million dividend from BK financed by a $350 million loan. The loan will likely be paid back (or at least paid down) by proceeds from the IPO. The loan, even after the IPO proceeds are applied, is six times the company’s current EBITDA. Here is what they said of the maneuver:

“The payday is meant to reimburse the private-equity firms for the $325 million they say they have poured into Burger King since buying it in 2002, plus a little extra to go get themselves something nice.

“You don’t often get that kind of humor in business reporting. Which is why this made me chuckle.”

I think humor, when used properly, can be effective in business writing. But I rarely see it.

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