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Fortune Industries founder, chairman dies

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Carter M. Fortune, founder and chairman of Indianapolis-based Fortune Industries Inc., has died, the company announced Monday.

Fortune, 70, died Saturday at his home in Destin, Fla.

“We are very saddened by Carter’s passing, but we are prepared to move forward, carry out his vision and honor his legacy,” Tena Mayberry, president and CEO of the professional employer organization, said in a prepared statement.

Fortune, majority shareholder of the publicly traded Fortune Industries, had been diagnosed with a potentially terminal disease, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released earlier this year.

The company disclosed the illness as Fortune worked on a sale of the business to CEP Inc., a holding company led by Fortune Industries CEO Tena Mayberry and Chief Financial Officer Randy Butler. The planned management-led buyout, which would result in the business going private, values the company at $30.5 million.  

Whether Fortune's death will have an impact on that deal is unclear. Calls to the company Tuesday morning were not returned.

The transaction had faced a challenge from a shareholder who filed suit against the company, attempting to block the deal, but that lawsuit was dropped Aug. 20.

The beginnings of Fortune Industries can be traced to 2000, when Carter Fortune and partners bought the shell of a public company, renamed it WOW Entertainment Inc., and began producing “Women of Wrestling” for television.

After that business failed, he began buying companies in fields such as personnel-related services, manufacturing and distribution. The company sold off everything but the human resources business more than three years ago.
 

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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