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Thursday, February 22, 2018

How Much is Jack Link's Worth?

Back in 2008, I posted an entry on this blog about Minong, Wisconsin, home to the Link Brothers and Jack Link's Jerky.  It remains one of the most read posts on this blog.  I thought of it a couple of times this past month.  Yesterday, we noticed this new furniture design studio just up the block.

Has Link Brothers gone international and expanded again?

The other time I thought about it was during the Superbowl when Sasquatch made a 60-second appearance promoting Jack Link's Jerky. I thought back to the 1980's when we used to drive over to the Link Brothers store in Minong for bacon while we were up at our northern Wisconsin cabin.  Who would have thought that there would one day be a Link ad on the Superbowl?

A segment on WCCO back in 2011 recorded the inspiration for the Jerky business:

One day in 1985, Jack was deer hunting with his sons. They bought some jerky that tasted awful.

Jack said it was “tough as shoe leather about like eating my boots. I said ‘We can do better than this.'”

So, Jack took an old family recipe and made his own.

“It was really good and I said ‘We can sell this,'” he said.
And sell it they did.  Recent estimates credit Link's with $1.3 billion in sales and perhaps a 50-60% share of the snack meats market!

As a retired numbers guy with some experience in the food industry, I had to get out an envelope, flip it over and do a little analysis.  Let's compare General Mills, Kellogg and Jack Link's:

Gen Mills Kellogg Jack Link's
Sales 15.6 13.0 1.3
Net Income 1.7 0.7 ??
Mkt Cap 31.3 23.1  ???
Mkt Cap / Sales 2.0 1.8

Since Jack Link's is privately held, we don't know their Net Income.  But when your market share is 50% or more, you have to be doing at least as well as anyone else in the food business.

A business valuation guru would discount value for private ownership but bump the value for "owning the market."

A reasonable guess at valuation would probably be between $2 and $3 billion.

That is up in Trump territory and makes you wonder why Jack is not on the Forbes list of wealthiest people in Wisconsin.  Maybe that was part of the reason for the Superbowl ad buy?

Meanwhile, Linda did bring her own supply of Jack Link's Jerky.  One of those items we can't find locally.

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