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Chesebrough-Pond's Gets a $2.8-Billion Bid

November 26, 1986|Associated Press

WESTPORT, Conn. — Chesebrough-Pond's Inc. announced Tuesday that it had received an unsolicited offer from American Brands to buy the consumer products manufacturer for $66 a share, or a total of about $2.82 billion.

In a two-sentence statement, Chesebrough-Pond's said it had retained legal advisers to evaluate American Brands' offer and "other alternatives to maximize shareholder values."

Daniel A. Conforti, a spokesman for American Brands, confirmed that American Brands had made the proposal.

"We are hopeful that the board of directors and the management of Chesebrough-Pond's will consider our proposal favorably," Edward W. Whittemore, chairman and chief executive of American Brands, said in a statement. "We are prepared to enter into immediate negotiations with Chesebrough-Pond's and hope to reach an agreement on friendly terms promptly."

The statement said that Whittemore met with Ralph Ward, chairman of Chesebrough-Pond's, on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

"We feel that the consumer packaging products of the two companies would be highly compatible," Whittemore said, adding that American Brands would divest Chesebrough's chemical products division.

Chesebrough-Pond's shares rose $4.25 a share to $49.25 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading Tuesday on rumors that it was a takeover target. American Brands' offer was made after the close of trading.

Chesebrough-Pond's has a consumer products group and a chemical products group, which manufacture and market a wide range of agricultural and food products, as well as chemical products and services. Consumer products include Vaseline personal care products, Ragu spaghetti sauces, Prince Matchabelli cosmetics and Bass shoes. The company had revenue of $2.7 billion in 1985.

American Brands, based in Greenwich, Conn., is a packaged consumer goods and financial services company, with consumer products including Sunshine cookies and crackers, Master locks, Carlton, Lucky Strike and Tareyton cigarettes and Jergens personal care items.

American Brands posted 1985 revenue of $7.3 billion.

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