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Bilzerian Calls for Singer to Auction Itself to Highest Bidder

November 28, 1987|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Investor Paul Bilzerian, whose chances of acquiring Singer Co. for $1.05 billion appear slim because of the company's hostility, is urging that the company be auctioned to the highest bidder, it was disclosed Friday.

The Tampa-based investor's $50-a-share bid for Singer was rejected earlier this month and Thursday the company said it was talking to other potential suitors, but not Bilzerian. Financial analysts have said the company, largely a manufacturer of defense goods, may be worth as much as $60 a share. On Friday, Singer shares fell 12.5 cents to $52.875.

Bilzerian made the recommendation to Singer on Nov. 24. Details of the proposal were filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.

He suggested that the auction be conducted by Dec. 15, but was not available to comment on the proposal.

Bilzerian owns 9.9% of Singer and would stand to benefit if the company were auctioned off at a high price. His bid was announced Nov. 2 and was the first major one after the stock market collapse on Oct. 19.

Singer's active seeking of a "white knight" suggests that it is determined to steer clear of Bilzerian, who has not had a successful record of takeovers. This summer he failed in efforts to acquire retailer Pay 'N Pak and has also been involved in unsuccessful takeover bids for Peabody & Co., Hammermill Paper Co. and Allied Stores Corp.

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