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Steinberg Keeping His Options for Tiger Open

May 29, 1987|DENISE GELLENE | Times Staff Writer

New York investor Saul P. Steinberg, who controls 18.6% of Tiger International's shares, said Thursday that he could not rule out a merger or acquisition of the company.

But Steinberg, a director of Los Angeles-based Tiger, said in an interview after the company's annual meeting here that the company's first concern is to "concentrate on improving the business." Asked whether the company might be for sale at some point, he said: "I can't speculate on what will happen a year from now."

Tiger International is the parent of financially troubled Flying Tiger Line, the world's largest air cargo carrier. The airline's fortunes have improved under Chairman and Chief Executive Stephen M. Wolf, who joined the company last August and obtained massive wage and benefit concessions from employees. During the first quarter, the company earned $4.8 million, its first profit in two years.

Steinberg, who has owned Tiger shares since 1979, said he was pleased with Wolf's management. "I have interests in many companies, and he (Wolf) is absolutely the finest chief executive," Steinberg said.

Steinberg, 47, is chief executive of Reliance Group Holdings, which has an interest in Days Inn Corp., John Blair & Co. and Symbol Technologies among other companies.

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