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Legislation to Avoid Takeover, Shutdown to Be Studied : Supervisors Act to Help Save Standard Brands

August 06, 1987|JILL STEWART | Times Staff Writer

The County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday asked its legislative staff to investigate whether anti-takeover legislation could be enacted in Sacramento to ward off a New Zealand company that is trying to buy, and may close down, Standard Brands Paint of Torrance.

Supervisor Deane Dana, alarmed over press reports that the Chase Corp. might close the chain--affecting up to 3,600 jobs in the West including 650 in Torrance--said such a move would not be "in the best interest of the employees, the community or even the county as a whole."

Standard Brands, the second largest employer in Torrance, rejected a $300-million bid from the New Zealand firm on July 27, but left the door open for other offers.

Stuart D. Buchalter, chairman of Standard Brands Paint, said Chase Corp. officials "say they don't see a need for our kind of stores and will use the land for real estate development instead."

Dana said Chase Corp.'s offer "directly threatens the jobs" of the 3,600 workers. He asked the county's staff to meet with state Assemblyman Art Agnos, (D-San Francisco), who is considering authoring an anti-takeover bill to protect the company.

An Agnos aide said Agnos "believes Standard Brands is the kind of company that California would like to keep."

Buchalter said the takeover attempt "has been extremely disruptive and has raised a high degree of concern among our employees."

He said the employees at the 133 Standard Brands Paint stores in the Western states "have 20,000 years of service with the company, all together. We are assuring them that we have rejected the first offer."

Craig Walker, a spokesman for Standard Brands, said Agnos' proposed legislation "is positive, from our point of view . . . if the gist of it is to save employment and help people stay with our company."

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