Singer Co has promised to advise shareholders by November 16 whether or not they should accept the $50-a-share tender offer for the Montvale, New Jersey company from Florida investor Paul Bilzerian’s Bilzerian Partners Ltd Partnership 1. There are mixed views on the seriousness of the $1,060m offer for Singer, with some observers suggesting that Bilzerian and his colleagues have saddled themselves with 9.9% of Singer’s shares and want to put the company into play because without a bid the share price would crash leaving them staring at a significant loss. Nevertheless the group has comm-itted to 23% equity financing, with two companies controlled by Bilzerian prepared to make share offerings to bring in $250m of the cash needed. Shearson Lehman has promised a bridging loan of $355m, and National Westminster Bank USA Inc has provided $100m financing and agreed to try to round up the balance of what is needed. The bid is contingent on 75% acceptance, the securing of long-term financing commitments, and waiver of New Jersey’s anti-takeover law, which requires approval of the board of a target company in any takeover. Bilzerian’s plan is to sell all the defence and electronics interests and retain just the power tools and gas meters businesses, which make up only 17% of the total company. Singer’s shares responded positively to the bid, rising $3.125 to $47.25.
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