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Bid Made for U.S.’s Oldest NYSE Co.

December 14, 1999

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (AP) _ Chemicals conglomerate International Specialty Products has offered $932 million for Dexter Corp., the oldest company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The $45-per-share offer was under consideration by the Dexter board of directors, the company said in a news release Tuesday. Dexter noted that Wayne, N.J.-based ISP did not say how it planned to pay for the deal.

Wealthy investor Samuel J. Heyman controls 76 percent of ISP. As of the fall, Heyman held about 10 percent of Dexter’s 23 million shares and had notified the company that he intended to acquire more.

ISP has urged Dexter to give up its majority stake in Life Technologies Inc. of Rockville, Md., arguing that the two companies are not a solid strategic fit.

After a purchase offer expired late last year, Dexter held about 71 percent of outstanding Life Technologies shares. Heyman and his backers own about 25 percent of Life Technologies.

Dexter’s was trading at 5:15 p.m. on the New York Stock Exchange at $41, up $8.43 3/4. ISP, also on the NYSE, closed down 18 3/4 cents to $7.75.

Dexter makes products for the aerospace, electronics, food packaging, and medical markets. Founded in 1767 as a cloth mill, by the 1830s it was one of the nation’s first conglomerates. It joined the NYSE in 1968.

ISP makes chemicals, mineral products and filters. Life Technologies makes supplies for biological research and genetic engineering.

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