Yes indeed, I in fact this morning went to the Tyco homepage and printed out a list of just the flow control and fire and security companies. Two or three pages of subsidiaries!! Not to mention CIT and the tons of other smatterings of companies that they own. I look at it this way, if you can pin point the total amount of debt that they have, both short term and long term then you have a starting point. I find that, then add 10% as a margin for error. Then look at the market cap. Add that to it. Now figure out the cash flow and divide the (debt*110% + market cap)/cash flow and see what kind of ratio you get. If you get a decent ratio like say 25 then it starts getting interesting.Tyco is getting there but I am still waiting to see maybe 8 a share.
There are certainly interesting companies that are currently part of Tyco, and indeed many of them make things that people need and appear to have business that makes sense. The trouble that I have is that the parent co. is obviously run by a bunch of crooks, and the debt burden that is known may not be the full story.
I'm sure that Warren might be interested in buying some of these companies out of liquidation if it comes to that. Or it TYC was such a great steal, he would probably consider the common.
Bottom line is that I don't have the time to ferret out the truth from the BS myself, and if there are any huge opportunities here, I'll let Warren do the hard work for me! Many of these subs are big enough to be interesting for Berkshire.
Isn't it great to have the most brilliant investor in history basically working for us for FREE!