"Does he mean Rivco is the dog, and we, the workers, are the fleas?" Smith asked himself.
Whatever they meant, Rivco shed about 100 workers during the last few months of the year, closed down its manufacturing plant around Christmas, was set to auction off its equipment on Valentine's Day, and now primarily distributes other companies' products through a Nashua showroom under the name New England Millworks and Kitchens.
Smith figures JMC wanted to make a "killing" by using Rivco's customer base without the headache of carrying all those workers.
The Rivco buyout follows on the heels of another private equity disaster, the bankruptcy and sudden layoffs of some 122 workers at Customized Structures Inc.
What happened to Rivco and CSI reinforce the worst image of private equity companies: that they are remote from their workers, don't have a full understanding of the business they are buying, and are perfectly willing to strip a company and fire workers in order to "turn around" the firm or sell it off for a quick buck.