Natural Resources: The $100 Million Run

Houston's Gulf Sulphur Corp. until a year ago was a $10.7 million-a-year operation that depended entirely on sulphur production in Mexico. Then President Robert H. Allen, 40, a lanky (6 ft. 4 in.) onetime Texas A. & M. distance runner, long-strided his way into the merger derby. Today, renamed Gulf Resources & Chemical Corp., Allen's company is a broadly based natural-resources producer with an annual sales rate of over $100 million. Explains Allen: "We did not want to be a com pany with a single mineral."

Gulf Resources' unusual growth is the result of two mergers. First, Allen paid...