An agreement announced between the Cannon brothers Thursday suggests Geneva will remain a privately held company for the present, run by a new board of directors that includes Christopher B. Cannon.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Christopher and Joseph A. Cannon held a brief press conference in Hatch's office to announce an agreement between the brothers that includes the formation of a venture capital company wholly owned by Basic Manufacturing Technologies and run by Christopher Cannon."It will ostensibly get out and do everything it can to attract and develop business for the state of Utah," Hatch said. The company has not been formed or named.
The two brothers who reorganized Geneva Steel and brought the former USX Corp. plant back into operation have disagreed frequently over how the company should be run. The most recent disagreement prompted Christopher Cannon to sue Joseph Cannon two weeks ago over Joseph Cannon's intention to offer the company's privately held stock to the public.
Hatch began negotiating with the two brothers seven days ago to help settle their differences. Hatch referred to seven days and nights of intensive negotiations over the problems between the brothers.
The brothers went to Hatch for help, Joseph Cannon said, because "he has been a spiritual father to us for a long time."
Hatch stressed repeatedly in the press conference that the settlement was an upbeat story and he didn't want any negative comments made about past differences between the brothers. Several times he refused to answer reporters' questions because he didn't want to discuss past difficulties.
"I've asked members of the corporation to not comment about it. I've asked them to quit worrying about the past and go forward to the future," he said.
"We've got a good resolution here and I think Utah will benefit greatly from it."
Hatch's tone was different in comments to reporters before the press conference. He told several reporters gathered in his outer office that after the brief conference, he had to leave to catch a plane. After he left, the Cannon brothers would sit down and begin signing the various agreements.
Then he said, "So help me, if anyone botches this up, I'm going to personally kill them." When reporters began writing, he asked them to change his comment so it would sound more positive. "I hope you don't write it down exactly that way," he said. "This is really a very upbeat thing."
Under the new agreement, Joseph Cannon remains chairman of the board and president of Geneva. The new board members are Charles R. Canfield, president of Tracy Collins Bank and Trust; Christopher Cannon; Joseph Cannon; Richard E. Cook, assistant controller of international affairs for Ford Motor Co.; Paula Hawkins, former U.S. senator for Florida; Blaine Huntsman, former dean of the University of Utah College of Business; and Arch L. Madsen, former chief executive officer for Bonneville International Corp.