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Fred Hubacker Featured in Crain’s Detroit Business

Crain’s Detroit Business features Fred Hubacker in its article titled “Piston Group growth called promising for minority-owned businesses.”

“Fred Hubacker, executive director of Birmingham-based advisory and turnaround firm Conway MacKenzie Inc., said the growth Piston is achieving doesn’t come without risk.

“‘Explosive growth is dangerous,’ Hubacker said. ‘You want an enterprise that’s successful in terms of delivery, costs, satisfying lenders, etc. Otherwise you’ve got another failed company. Growing profitably is a kettle of fish that has claimed many suppliers and minority-owned suppliers.’

“Hubacker pointed to Bing Group, a supplier of flat-rolled steel, metal stampings and component assembly founded by former Detroit Pistons guard and future Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. Bing Group grew from $40 million in revenue in 1985 to an expected revenue of $1 billion in 2008 with several acquisitions at the behest of the Detroit 3.

“Bing Group was dissolved in 2010 after the sale of its steel unit and closure of several others.

“‘(Bing Group) got beyond its level of resources and its level of expertise too fast,’ Hubacker said. ‘When that happens, watch out. Growth is good, but not at the cost of the company.'”

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