Beautiful engraved specimen certificate from the WorldCom, Inc . This historic document was printed by United States Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President, Bernard J. Ebbers and Secretary, Scott D. Sullilvan.
July 21, 2002 - WorldCom, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy was part of a spectacular series of corporate collapses. The filing took place in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
Bernard John "Bernie" Ebbers (born August 27, 1941 in Edmonton, Alberta) is a Canadian-born businessman. He co-founded the telecommunications company WorldCom and is a former chief executive officer of that company.
In 2005, he was convicted of fraud and conspiracy in the largest (to date) accounting scandal in United States history, as a result of WorldCom's false financial reporting, and subsequent US$11-billion loss to investors. He is currently serving a 25-year prison term at Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex in Louisiana.
Born to the family of a traveling salesman, Bernard Ebbers was the second of five children. He was born in Edmonton and his family also lived in California and New Mexico, while he was growing up, before returning to Edmonton.
After high school, Ebbers briefly attended the University of Alberta and Calvin College before enrolling at Mississippi College. During the time between schools he worked as a milkman and bouncer. While attending Mississippi College, Ebbers earned a basketball scholarship. An injury before his senior season prevented him from playing his final year. Instead of playing, he was assigned to coach the junior varsity team.
In 1968 Ebbers married Linda Pigott, and the two of them raised three daughters. Ebbers filed for divorce in July 1997 and married his second wife, Kristie Webb, in the spring of 1999.
Education and degrees
Bachelor in physical education, minor in secondary education. Mississippi College (1967)
Honorary Doctor of Laws. Mississippi College (1992)
Honorary doctorate. Tougaloo College (1998)
Ebbers began his business career operating a chain of motels in Mississippi. He joined with several other people in 1983 as investors in the newly formed Long Distance Discount Services, Inc (LDDS). Two years later he was named chief executive of the corporation. The company acquired over 60 other independent telecommunications firms, changing its name to WorldCom in 1995. In 1996, WorldCom acquired MFS Communications, Inc., which itself had recently acquired UUNet and its Internet backbone. At the time, this $12 billion transaction was one of the largest corporate acquisitions in U.S. history, although it would soon be eclipsed by much larger deals, including WorldCom's proposed $40 billion acquisition of MCI.
Ebbers gained public notice on October 1, 1997 when he announced that WorldCom was making an unsolicited bid for MCI Communications. The successful acquisition of MCI was completed in September 1998. The fame from this accomplishment caused Ebbers to receive a number of accolades from the press, including:
Mississippi Business Hall of Fame (May 1995)
Member of Wired 25 (November 1998)
Being named to The 25 most powerful people in networking by Network World 4, 1999)
In 1999, Ebbers announced that MCI WorldCom would acquire its rival Sprint Communications for over $115 billion. This transaction, however, was abandoned after U.S. and European antitrust regulators raised objections. This combined with a general downturn in the telecom market resulted in a downturn in WorldCom stock price.
Much of Ebbers' personal holdings were purchased with loans that had been backed by his WorldCom stock holdings. As the stock price declined he received a number of margin calls to provide additional collateral for these loans. In an effort to prevent Ebbers from having to sell his shares, the WorldCom board of directors authorized a series of loans and loan guarantees between September 2000 and April 2002.
WorldCom announced the resignation of Bernie Ebbers on April 30, 2002. As part of his departure, Ebbers' loans were consolidated into a single $408.2 million promissory note.
At his peak in early 1999, Ebbers was worth an estimated $1.4 billion and listed at number 174 on the Forbes 400. His personal holdings included:
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity over the past several years.
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