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Hydrofruit, Inc.: Ripe for Harvest or Rotten Tomato?
Freeman, R. Edward; Boswell, Timothy; Mead, Jenny Case E-0320 / Published April 30, 2008 / 10 pages.
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Product Overview

This case details the various issues, dilemmas, and complexities of immigration as it relates both to business and American society in general. MegaBank manager Judson Dillon is on the verge of finalizing a $65 million equity investment in the world's largest tomato greenhouse, HydroFruit, Inc., which he believes is an attractive investment opportunity. At the same time, he suspects that the company is an employer of illegal immigrants. Immigration was currently a politically, socially, and legally hot topic in the United States. Laws had been enacted to ensure that employers did not hire illegal immigrants, yet many in the United States said that getting rid of all illegal immigrants was an impossible and, for the U.S. agricultural economy, destructive move. On the surface, HydroFruit was in compliance with all minimum legal requirements, but that didn't mean that some illegals didn't slip through the cracks, and the company's CFO had admitted to Dillon one night that "Without illegals, our industry stops dead." In Dillon's mind, this comment reinforced his suspicion that HydroFruit was no different from many other employers in the agricultural industry, as well as his belief that it simply wouldn't be practical for Congress to disrupt such an important segment of the U.S. economy. Yet MegaBank could not invest in a company that it knew?or suspected of?acting illegally.

  • Overview

    This case details the various issues, dilemmas, and complexities of immigration as it relates both to business and American society in general. MegaBank manager Judson Dillon is on the verge of finalizing a $65 million equity investment in the world's largest tomato greenhouse, HydroFruit, Inc., which he believes is an attractive investment opportunity. At the same time, he suspects that the company is an employer of illegal immigrants. Immigration was currently a politically, socially, and legally hot topic in the United States. Laws had been enacted to ensure that employers did not hire illegal immigrants, yet many in the United States said that getting rid of all illegal immigrants was an impossible and, for the U.S. agricultural economy, destructive move. On the surface, HydroFruit was in compliance with all minimum legal requirements, but that didn't mean that some illegals didn't slip through the cracks, and the company's CFO had admitted to Dillon one night that "Without illegals, our industry stops dead." In Dillon's mind, this comment reinforced his suspicion that HydroFruit was no different from many other employers in the agricultural industry, as well as his belief that it simply wouldn't be practical for Congress to disrupt such an important segment of the U.S. economy. Yet MegaBank could not invest in a company that it knew?or suspected of?acting illegally.

  • Learning Objectives