Simmons Makes Bid for Complete Sea-Land Control
DALLAS (AP) _ Maverick investor Harold Simmons made a final move Friday, announcing one of his companies has offered $369 million to acquire the remaining shares of New Jersey-based Sea-Land Corp., which he has stalked for months.
Simmons’ Amalgamated Sugar Co. and LLC Corp. already own 39.3 percent of Sea-Land. Amalgamated Sugar is offering $26 a share in cash for the remaining interest.
Sea-Land stock was closed at $25.50 a share Friday, up 50 cents on the day.
Simmons said he had discussions earlier in the week with Sea-Land officials and ″based on those discussions, I was encouraged to make the offer, which I made today.″
Although he received no immediate formal response Friday, Simmons said he expects to get approval from the shipping company’s board of directors when they meet in a regular meeting on April 28.
Simmons expects it to take 90 to 120 days to complete the definitive agreement and then shareholders of both Sea-Land and Amalgamated Sugar must vote.
A spokeswoman for Sea-Land who asked not to be identified read a statement saying that ″when details (of the proposal) are received,″ Sea-Land will consider them. She declined further comment.
Simmons said if he gains control of Sea-Land, he doesn’t expect to make any ″drastic changes″ in the business, which has been hard-hit by hard times in the shipping industry.
Sea-Land Chairman Joseph F. Abely has said he would resign, Simmons said, once Amalgamated Sugar takes control. Simmons plans to make himself chairman and name Charles Hiltzheimer, Sea-Land’s former chief executive officer, as president.
Simmons said he considers Sea-Land ″a good long-term value, and even though the industry is depressed right now it’s a pretty good performer.″
A low-key businessman who has amassed control of companies with assets valued at $1.5 billion, Simmons has made a career of dabbling in an odd assortment of businesses ranging from fast foods to chemicals and hardware.