MONTVALE, N.J. — Singer Co. advised its shareholders Friday to reject an unsolicited $1.06-billion tender offer from a group led by Paul Bilzerian and said that it had sued the Florida investor for allegedly violating securities laws in mounting the bid.
The $50-a-share offer was inadequate and "contains many uncertainties," including the ability to raise financing for completing the offer, chairman William F. Schmied wrote in a letter to shareholders.
Singer's board has instructed management to investigate alternatives for protecting the interests of the company and its shareholders. Neither the company nor the letter elaborated on what alternatives were being considered.
Singer shares dropped 37.4 cents to $47.875 in New York Stock Exchange trading on Friday.
Bilzerian did not return several telephone calls to his Tampa, Fla., offices seeking comment. A secretary said he was out of the office.
His group, Bilzerian Partners L. P. 1, launched its tender offer Nov. 2 after announcing that it owned 9.9% of Singer's outstanding common shares.
Bilzerian said that, if successful, the partnership would consider selling Singer's core aerospace businesses and retaining its electric tool and gas meter manufacturing lines.
In its suit, Singer claimed Bilzerian's buyout offer was not made in good faith, improperly failed to disclose key information about himself and his financial backers, and did not disclose enough details about financing for the offer.
It also claimed that the group's financing proposals were unviable, and the tender offer itself was highly conditioned.