EDITORIAL: BrightPoint sale opens new chapter for Laikin

July 7, 2012

It’s been years since a giant Indianapolis company has been acquired, causing the city to collectively hold its breath waiting to hear the fate of the local work force.

But that’s precisely what happened July 2 when BrightPoint Inc. announced it was being purchased by California-based Ingram Micro Inc. for $650 million in cash and the assumption of $190 million in debt.

It remains to be seen what will happen to BrightPoint’s 1,300 employees in the Indianapolis area, most of whom work at the company’s Plainfield distribution centers.

And little is known at this point what will become of BrightPoint Chairman and CEO Robert Laikin, who founded the company in 1989, and built it into one of the world’s biggest cell phone distributors.

We’ll probably have to wait until after the deal closes, likely toward the end of the year, before finding out what Laikin, 49, will do next.

Though he’s relinquishing control of the company he founded, it’s safe to assume he won’t let go of his entrepreneurial spirit.

We hope Laikin, as owners of tech companies so often do, funnels his resources, creativity and business sense into another Indianapolis venture, perhaps one that soars to BrightPoint-like success.

Court lives up to its promise

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Obama administration’s Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act was cause for anger in some quarters and relief in others, but there was one reaction that was almost universal: surprise.

And it’s that surprise that both fans and detractors of the ruling should celebrate.

Chief Justice John Roberts, though ideologically conservative, tipped the balance in favor of upholding a component of the law that is its linchpin and that conservatives find most distasteful: the individual mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance.

Roberts’ decision affirms that the court remains capable of fulfilling its duty, which is to interpret the law of the land, not to do the bidding of political partisans.

Yet most of the predictions before the decision came down and much of the post-game analysis afterward focused on what the court was expected to do and what it didn’t do: fall in line with Republican opponents of the health care reform act.

In the aftermath, it wasn’t hard to find commentary denouncing the court’s decision as just plain wrong.

Count us among those who are relieved that the court has not devolved into a body whose decisions can be predicted ahead of time based on the political leanings of the justices or the popularity of the issues that come before them.

Until we’re all trained as legal experts, we hope judges continue to surprise us.•


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