April 13 The past decade has seen Tyco International Ltd (TYC.N), once an obscure New Hampshire industrial firm, go from darling of Wall Street to symbol of corporate excess to its slimmed-down current form.
France's Schneider Electric (SCHN.PA) is considering a bid for the company, which once styled itself as the next General Electric Co (GE.N). Tyco, whose businesses once ranged as far afield as commercial lending and manufacturing plastic clothes hangers, reported revenue in 2010 of $17 billion -- less than half its level in 2006. [ID:nLDE73C0AG]
Below is a look at some major events in the company's history over the past decade:
2002 -- Tyco names former Motorola executive Ed Breen as a permanent successor to former chief Dennis Kozlowski, who resigned amid reports he was the subject of a tax probe. Breen takes over a company struggling with losses and high debt in the wake of Kozlowski's decade-long acquisition spree. Breen cuts thousands of jobs -- including most of the Kozlowski-era leadership -- and exits dozens of businesses.
2005 -- Kozlowski, along with former Tyco Chief Financial Officer Mark Swartz, is found guilty of stealing more than $150 million from the company. During a three-year-long court odyssey that includes a mistrial, prosecutors produce evidence that Kozlowski had his company fund extravagant purchases like a $6,000 shower curtain for his Manhattan apartment and half the $2.1 million bill for a birthday party for his second wife. The party featured an ice sculpture of Michelangelo's David that famously spewed vodka from its penis. Kozlowski is sentenced to up to 25 years in prison, where he remains today.
2006 -- Breen, who took over a company that had more than $20 billion in debt on its books, says the debt cleanup is done and the company is ready to consider small acquisitions again.
2007 -- Tyco completes its break-up, spinning off its healthcare and electronics units, which are now called Covidien PLC COV.N and TE Connectivity (TEL.N). The company also pays almost $3 billion to settle class-action suits dating back to the Kozlowski era.
2009 -- Tyco moves its incorporation from Bermuda to Switzerland, losing its place on the Standard & Poor's 500 index .SPX. It returns to that benchmark index a year later as S&P rethinks its definition of what makes a U.S. company.