An investor group led by Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens Jr. bought 6.7
NEW YORK (AP) _ An investor group led by Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens Jr. bought 6.7 million shares of Unocal Corp. stock on Wednesday for $48 a share, or $321.6 million.
The group, called Mesa Partners II, now owns 23.7 million, or about 13.5 percent, of the oil company’s total shares outstanding, said Mesa Partners spokesman David Batchelder.
The purchase was part of a 7 million-share block of Unocal stock that traded hands in a single transaction, and it was the second-largest ″block trade″ in dollar terms in history.
The record block trade in terms of both dollar value and number of shares occurred June 21, 1984, when a 10 million-share block of Superior Oil was bought for $32.371/2 a share, or $423.75 million, by Mobil Corp. as part of Mobil’s takeover of Superior.
The Unocal trade Wednesday also tied with two other block trades as the second-largest in terms of the number of shares involved.
A 7 million-share block of American Express Co. crossed at $31.75 a share on Aug. 20, 1984, and a 7 million-share block of Ramada Inns traded at $9.871/ 2 a share on May 25, 1983.
The Unocal block was handled on the Midwest Stock Exchange by the Los Angeles securities firm Jeffries & Co. Inc., which refused as a matter of company policy to identify the seller or sellers. Batchelder said he did not know who sold the shares.
The purchase helped make Unocal the most active issue in New York Stock Exchange composite trading Wednesday, with more than 8.5 million Unocal shares changing hands in all. Unocal ended the day at $47.62 a share, a gain of 871/2 cents.
Mesa Partners II previously said its purchases of Unocal stock are being made as an investment and that it had set aside enough money to increase its stake to about 15 percent.
While the group has said it does not presently plan a takeover bid for Los Angeles-based Unocal, the company’s chairman, Fred Harley, has said he remains wary.