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Tallying Up The Darts: What Computes And What Doesn't


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TALLYING UP THE DARTS: WHAT COMPUTES AND WHAT DOESN'T

It appears that your article ("The Darts: Fear, loathing, and foam cups," People, July 10) was largely based on information provided by my oldest son, Tom. As the story reported, Tom has sued me and other family members, alleging he was not treated fairly when our family businesses were reorganized in the mid-1980s.

While privately held Dart Container Corp. does not generally provide financial information to the public, the article contains figures that are grossly in error. The following is accurate and verified information: According to audited financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 1994, the annual revenue from sales of food-service products by DCC (and affiliated entities) was $430.7 million, not $1.2 billion. We told the writer before the story was finalized that the correct figure was "less than $500 million."

According to records from the General Services Administration, Dart Container received payments on GSA contracts during 1992-94 of $4.5 million, as the writer was informed, not $181 million. Also, BUSINESS WEEK's estimate of our family worth is grossly inaccurate.

Contrary to the impression in the article, DCC, which is a U.S. corporation, does pay its U.S. taxes. The implication that the citizenship of family members has the effect of reducing DCC's U.S. tax obligation is totally false.

William A. Dart

Chairman

Dart Container Corp.

Mason, Mich.

Editor's Note: The higher revenue figure cited in the story reflected information gathered from Tom Dart, a major accounting firm report, as well as interviews with former company executives and industry experts. The GSA figure cited in the story was based on information provided by agency staffers. BUSINESS WEEK now recognizes that the data provided were faulty. The Darts' objection to estimates of company sales and the family's total net worth were noted in the original story. Given the value of the publicly disclosed portion of the family's investment portfolio, BUSINESS WEEK does not believe the estimate of the family's worth is "grossly inaccurate." And while the article said that Ken and Bob Dart, by expatriating, avoided taxes, it never suggested that DCC did not pay all of its taxes.


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