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Coast Considers Bell Buyout Proposal

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December 20, 2005 by   Leave a Comment

Coast Distribution System Inc. today (Dec. 20) announced that its board of directors held a special meeting to consider the “unsolicited proposal” publicly disclosed by Bell Industries Inc. on Dec. 15.
El Segundo, Calif.-based Bell Industries offered to enter into negotiations to acquire the company by merger for $7.70 per share in cash, or about $34.1 million. Both companies are involved in the supply of aftermarket products to the recreational vehicle and marine industries.
Morgan Hills, Calif.-based Coast said it decided not to take any action until it selects and retains an investment banking firm to support the board in its deliberative process.
In its statement, Coast said: “The company cautions its stockholders, and others that may consider trading in the company’s shares, that the board has just begun this process; no decisions have been made by the board with respect to the company’s response, if any, to Bell’s proposal; and the board will proceed in a timely and orderly manner to consider the proposal and its implications.”
Coast said it does not intend to comment on the proposal until it completes its review and will not speculate as to any future course of action it might take.
According to Bell, the company originally sent a letter on Dec. 6 to Coast Chairman and CEO Thomas McGuire offering $7.16 per share, but did not receive a response.
On Friday, Dec. 9, Coast announced that its board of directors had authorized the company to purchase up to an additional $1.2 million of its shares of common stock, pursuant to its previously announced stock buyback program. Bell said that the buyback helped boost Coast stock to $7 per share during trading on Monday, Dec. 12.
Shares of Coast stock opened today at $7.31 per share on the American Stock Exchange.

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