Early the next morning, Ralph Fly presented the fruits of his late night labour to Ray Purvis, who was impressed. The figures presented a rose-tinted view of the new shopping centre project, the latest venture by Purvis Holdings. The cost break downs and the projected cash flows said a lot, but gave little away. They made no mention of the two properties that still had to be purchased. The perfect summary for a chief executive or portfolio manager with an eye fixed more on the commissions that can be extracted from the deal rather than on the financial bottom-line.
“Very nice Fly. I’ll send these over to Price at Fleece Industrial. There’s enough in it to keep him happy I would have thought.” Purvis snorted, as he picked up the handpiece of the phone on his desk and pushed one of the telephone number preset buttons.
“Williams, it’s time to move on the deli.” Purvis barked at the real estate agent he had been using to acquire the land for the shopping centre.
“Yes Mr Purvis. Do you want me to make an offer?” Williams whined. “Three seventy five thousand would be realistic.”
“Christ!” Purvis exploded. “I knew you knew the Thomas’s, but I didn’t think they were bloody family.”
Williams half laughed at the half joke. “I don’t really know them. They just bought the shop through our firm that’s all.”
That was five years earlier. The previous owners of the deli had been Peter and Maria Kostas, a Greek couple who had owned the place for nearly forty years. Over that time, they had built up a thriving business catering to the large number of Greek migrants who had settled in the area during the years of the post war immigration boom.
In more recent times, most of the original migrant families had forsaken the congestion of the inner city suburbs, leaving them to the invading army of young professionals. When the Kostas joined this exodus, their small corner shop was transformed by Dean and Madge Thomas into a trendy modern gourmet delicatessen. As with the sale of many other properties in the area, Alan Williams was the real estate agent, and in common with the other properties, both the seller and the buyer had reasons to feel less than satisfied with the service he delivered. But, Williams did well out of the deal.
“You told me you handled the sale,” Purvis said.
“That’s right Mr Purvis. But it was some years ago.” Williams added cagily.
“No matter, they know you and that’s what counts.” Purvis said abruptly. “I’m relying on you Williams, offer them three twenty. Do you think you can do that this morning?”
“No problems Mr Purvis.” Williams said with a confidence that was less than convincing. “Leave it to me I remember Dean and Madge Thomas well: A nice couple, very friendly.”
“Good. Join us for lunch at Tuscany after you’ve seen them. One o’clock and I’ll be expecting an answer.”
In the next episode, “First Offer”, Alan Williams receives a hostile reception when he visits the Thomas Deli and Madge Thomas makes another freezer deposit.