Coast Distribution System Inc.’s board unanimously rejected the latest buyout proposal from competitor Bell Industries Inc. for $8.10 a share.
It was the third unsolicited bid by El Segundo, Calif.-based Bell. Both companies are involved in aftermarket product distribution for the recreational and marine industries, Bell through its recreational products group in Eagan, Minn.
“Our board of directors, with the assistance of its financial advisor, Seven Hills Partners LLC, has reviewed Bell’s buyout proposal and, in conjunction with that review, also considered, once again, the strategic alternatives available to Coast,” said Thomas R. McGuire, chairman and CEO for Morgan Hill, Calif.-based Coast, in a press release.
McGuire said the prospects for Coast as an independent company were “superior to Bell’s proposal,” adding, “Coast’s board will vigorously oppose any efforts by Bell to take advantage of our stockholders.”
Previously, Bell stated that if Coast’s response was not favorable it “will not hesitate” to nominate two directors for election to Coast’s board at the company’s annual meeting.
Bell first approached Coast last December with a bid of $7.15 a share and later raised it to $7.70 a share. Coast subsequently engaged financial firm Seven Hills, and its board unanimously rejected that offer in February.