|"I swear, but since I am the owner of this company that is my privilege, and this privilege is not to be interpreted as the same for any employee. That differentiates me from you, and I want to keep it that way. There will be absolutely no swearing, by any employee, male or female, in this office, ever."|
"Do not speak to me when you see me. If I want to speak to you, I will do so. I want to save my throat. I don't want to ruin it by saying hello to all of you sons-of-bitches."
Those memos of Edward Mike Davis of Tiger Oil and Tiger Drilling from the late '70's make for some funny reading. In one he tells his staff, 'what differentiates you from me is I am a known son of a bitch.' Looking up the guy "Tiger" Mike Davis, one finds a weird and amazing story.
He went bankrupt in 1980 but that wasn't the end, he's a rich old man in Vegas now.
Backstory on Tiger Mike Davis:
Grifters, Oil Men, Tabloids, The Scrappy Ingenue, The Titans and the Hardass: An American Story
August 13, 2008 9:09 AM Subscribe
Corrupt U.S. Government officials leased the Teapot Dome oil field to one Harry F. Sinclair in 1922 in a sleazy no-bid contract.
Turn back the clock. 27 years earlier, suspected grifter Gilmer Bonfils had seized control of the Denver Post; he and his family turned it from a sleepy, staid paper into a wild, brazen broadsheet. So brazen they were shot by a furious lawyer. For an editorial page, Tammen and Bonfils substituted invective, raked up so much scandal—a good deal of it true — that they kept a loaded shotgun in their office to discourage reader complaints. As the Post grew in power and prosperity, its proprietors branched into other fields; the Post became the first and last U.S. daily ever to own a circus (Sells-Floto), run a burlesque house and sell coal."
It was this paper that, through the machinations of Sinclair's enemies, began excoriating the Teapot Dome deal under the editorial byline "So That The People May Know". Eventually, Frederick G. Bonfils rumoredly took a million dollar payoff from Sinclair as hush money.
Fast forward. The Post hired professionals and lost its edge. But then, in 1960, into Denver's mile-high sunshine stepped the fastest-growing newspaper publisher in the U.S. In one hand he carried a battered 13-year-old briefcase bulging with the blueprints of a big deal.
But Si Newhouse Sr., who was rich enough to buy Conde Nast as a surprise anniversary present for his wife the year previously, for all his business acumen and deal-making wiles, didn't expect to run into Helen Bonfils...
Helen, one of the daughters entrusted with the Post, reacted to Newhouse's hostile purchases by declaring "No further sales are contemplated. Not under any circumstances." And for many rollicking years, the fight continued. Eventually, outmaneuvered legally, Newhouse gave up. But the story doesn't end there.
A tall, slender, blonde with bright blue eyes and a husky voice, Helen was theatrical, energetic and a millionaire. Bejeweled and befurred, she toured the town in her Pierce Arrow with Colorado license plate No. 1. She would be accompanied by her chauffeur (more on this in a moment...), favorite poodle, and spiritual adviser, the Rev. John Anderson, who shared her interest in philanthropy. And when the Rocky Mountain News says 'theatrical', they mean it; she in her youth starred in extravagant musicals with casts of hundreds, always as the principal angel. Her hunger for the spotlight grew over the years as she acted in and produced a score of productions, and created the Helen Bonfils Theater Complex at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. She also found the time to create the Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Bank, named after her mother -- now a fixture of the Denver healthcare system; and, having seen people faint in its stuffy basement for lack of air conditioning, to fund the completion of the Holy Ghost church -- as well as 'innumerable' other charities, including the Dumb Friends League and the Denver Zoo.
But does the story end there? No it does not. Helen, at age 69, fell in love with her chauffeur -- "Tiger" Mike Davis, a strapping young college dropout of 28. Their romance died, and a nasty divorce ensued, in which he received a large settlement. Rolling that money into oil field investments, "Tiger" Davis got rich.
In May 2008, none other than the Denver Post reported that he had gotten paid off for helping to move control of oil interests -- unlike Teapot Dome, this time legally -- by introducing an old friend, an ex-amateur boxer named "Rifle Right" Kirk Kerkorian to Delta Petroleum. Turns out having friends earned him a cool 263,158 shares, which if he still holds it is as of this writing.
But that's not the story either, dear reader -- the story is that "Tiger" Mike Davis, in between marrying the scrappiest, most extravagant and most powerful women in Denver and helping to broker a gigantic oil investment deal for one of the titans of industry, ran his own business. And he ran it real tight. And the memos of that business -- which spawned this post -- are some of the funniest interoffice memos on the planet.
Davis was born in Lebanon, had no education, emigrated to the US, and drove taxis in Denver. He was originally hired by Helen Bonfils’ husband and remained her chauffeur after his death. Once he inherited part of her fortune, he invested in several drilling rigs. Later this business, known as Tiger Drilling Co., was bought out by Cleveland Cliffs, lining Davis’ pockets even further. As a newly minted “oil baron,” he proceeded to drill 49 dry holes and went broke.
Tiger Drilling Company is still in business, presumably after reorganization:
Also in business is Tiger Mike himself:
Edward Mike Davis LLC
730 17th Street # 450
Denver, CO 80202-3554 map
Denver, CO Metro Area
Information not found
Edward Mike Davis LLC is a private company categorized under Oil and Gas Exploration and Development and located in Denver, CO. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $500,000 to $1 million and employs a staff of approximately 5 to 9.
Now here he is selling oil properties in 2003 to Delta Petroleum of Denver and gettng $2M in cash, a $6M note and a million shares of Delta Petroleum.
DELTA PETROLEUM CORPORATION ACQUIRES PRODUCTION AND DRILLING PROSPECTS IN COLORADO AND WYOMING
DENVER, Colorado (September 24, 2003) -- Delta Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ: DPTR); (FRANKFURT STOCK EXCHANGE: DPE), an independent energy exploration and development company, today announced that it has acquired production and drilling prospects in Colorado and Wyoming.
The Company has acquired, from Edward Mike Davis LLC and Edward Mike Davis (“Davis”), operations and a 90% working interest in the producing Christianson Field and two other fields. The acquisition includes approximately 100,000 acres of prospect leases in Washington County, Colorado, and approximately 20,000 acres of prospect leases in Laramie County, Wyoming. The fields are currently producing approximately 500 barrels of oil per day net to Delta.
The consideration paid by Delta totaled $8 million and 1,000,000 shares of the Company’s common stock. Closing occurred on September 19, 2003, at which time Delta paid $2 million in cash and executed a short-term promissory note for $6 million that is due and payable on October 3, 2003. ........
Late on he sold a drilling company to Delta Petroleum too:
Delta recently purchased all of Edward Mike Davis' ("Davis") ownership in Big Dog Drilling Co., LLC's Rig #2 and Rig #3 in exchange for 100,000 shares of Delta's common stock and Delta's interest in Shark Trucking Co., LLC. Delta has agreed to contribute both of these rigs to DHS in exchange for its 90% ownership interest.
In addition, DHS has agreed to acquire Big Dog Drilling Co., LLC's Rig #1 from Davis and three other rigs with depth ratings of 12,500 feet to 18,000 feet. These acquisitions are anticipated to expand DHS' fleet to six working rigs by approximately June 15, 2005.
Then 2 years ago, Tiger Mike arranges for his buddy from 60 years back when neither man was rich, Kirk Kerkorian, to buy into Delta Petroleum:
DELTA PETROLEUM CORPORATION ANNOUNCES CLOSE OF
STRATEGIC INVESTMENT BY TRACINDA
DENVER, Colorado (February 20, 2008) — Delta Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ Global Market: DPTR), an independent oil and gas company (“Delta” or the “Company”), today announced the close of the previously approved strategic investment by the Tracinda Corporation (“Tracinda”). As agreed, Tracinda invested $684 million to acquire 36 million shares of Delta’s common stock from the company, or the equivalent of $19 per share.
Delta would like to further express its appreciation to Edward “Tiger” Mike Davis for his participation and introduction between the Company and Mr. Kerkorian.
Edward "Tiger" Mike Davis, who has been friends with Kerkorian for the past 60 years, introduced the two businessmen and suggested that Tracinda take a look at the energy company. Davis was familiar with Delta's assets and strategy because about five years ago. Delta acquired some property from Davis.