INVESTMENT: More Worker-Owners

WELCOME TO SOUTH BEND LATHE AMERICA'S LARGEST 100 PERCENT EMPLOYEE OWNED COMPANY. So reads the proud sign in front of a sprawling red brick factory in South Bend, Ind. Little more than a year ago, the 70-year-old machine-tool maker faced liquidation because its performance was not up to the expectations of its owners, Amsted Industries Inc., a Chicago-based conglomerate. But South Bend was a solid company with good years ahead of it, thought some of its top executives. They went shopping for a way to buy the company and pump in enough working capital to keep it going...