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The Coast Distribution System Inc. today (Jan. 6) announced that it has retained San Francisco-based Seven Hills Partners LLC to serve as its financial adviser while its board considers a buyout proposal by Bell Industries Inc.
In December El Segundo, Calif.-based Bell offered to buy Coast for $7.70 per share, or around $34.1 million in cash. Coast responded by stating it would not take any action until it selected an adviser, adding the firm would refuse comment until it completes its review.
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.
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.
Coast stock opened today at $7.30 per share on the American Stock Exchange.