The top operating officer of Rusty Pelican Restaurants Inc. said Thursday that the Irvine-based dinner-house chain will resist any takeover attempt by Rhode Island restaurateur Edward Grace III.
Company President Randolph Howatt was responding to this week's announcement by Grace, president of Phelps-Grace Co. Inc. of East Providence, R.I., that he has acquired 6.9%, or 195,000 shares of Rusty Pelican's outstanding common stock, and is contemplating a takeover bid.
Grace now is the third-largest individual shareholder, after Howatt and Chairman Louis Siracusa, who together own 38% of the restaurant company's common shares.
Grace--who said he specializes in "taking over bankrupt companies"--on Wednesday denounced Rusty Pelican management as "unproductive and sloppy." Grace said Thursday that he may try to win control of the company through a tender offer or by filing a shareholders' derivative suit against the board of directors.