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El Segundo, Calif.-based Bell Industries Inc. announced today (Dec. 15) it has sent a letter to the board of directors of The Coast Distribution System Inc. offering to enter into negotiations to acquire the company by merger for $7.70 per share in cash.
Bell is comprised of three business units, including the Recreational Products Group located in Eagan, Minn., which distributes aftermarket parts and accessories to the recreational vehicle and boating markets. Coast, based in Morgan Hill, Calif., is also involved in aftermarket supply of RV and marine products.
In a press release, Bell said its proposal represents a 15% premium over the past month’s average closing price of $6.69 per share and would provide Coast stockholders with immediate liquidity at a premium to market and an immediate opportunity to maximize their investments.
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 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 Monday’s trading.
Shares of Coast stock opened Thursday at $7.36 per share on the American Stock Exchange.