Staley Continental Directors Considering Tate & Lyle Takeover Offer
ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (AP) _ Directors of Staley Continental Inc., the nation’s second-largest refiner of corn sweeteners, said Sunday they are reviewing a $1.33 billion buyout offer made last week.
The statement came two days after Tate & Lyle PLC, a major British sugar refiner and distributor, announced it was making a cash tender offer for Staley.
Tate and Lyle, which already owns nearly 5 percent of Staley’s stock, offered $32 a share for the rest of its 30.4 million outstanding shares.
Donald E. Nordlund, chairman and chief executive officer of Staley, issued a brief statement Sunday that the board of directors was consulting with its financial and legal advisers and expects to advise shareholders of its position by April 21.
Until then, the board was advising shareholders not to make any decision whether to accept or reject the tender offer, Nordlund stated.
Staley climbed $5.87 1/2 a share to $37.37 1/2 in active trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange after the Tate & Lyle.
The acquisition would give Tate & Lyle its first interest in the U.S. corn sweetener market. Tate & Lyle said that if it acquired Staley, it would become the only company producing all three types of sugar - corn, beet and cane - in the United States.
Staley Continental is a holding company formed in early 1985 for the A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co., a leading corn processor, and CFS Continental Inc., a food service supplier acquired in late 1984.
Tate & Lyle said Staley is the second largest refiner of corn sweeteners in the United States behind Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., based in Decatur, Ill.
Staley’s principal corn product is high fructose corn syrup, known as HFCS. The company has around 25 percent of the $1 billion a year U.S. market for HFCS sales, Tate & Lyle said.