WINDSOR LOCKS, CT — Dexter Corp.’s board of directors has authorized the company’s management and its financial advisor, Lehman Brothers, to explore “all strategic options” to “maximize shareholder value in the short term.” Dexter, which said it has not made a decision to sell the company, has been the target of a hostile takeover bid by International Specialty Products (ISP) since late last year.
Dexter Chairman and CEO K. Grahame Walker said the company has decided to explore “all of the company’s available options” partly as a result of ISP’s ownership of a “blocking position” in Life Technologies Inc. that prevents Dexter from increasing its majority ownership of Life Technologies to 100%.
ISP Chairman and CEO Samuel Heyman has criticized Dexter’s management, and has said Life Technologies would perform better if separated from Dexter. Dexter recently proposed the acquisition of the 28.5% of Life Technologies Inc. that it does not currently own for $49 per share.
Walker said the Dexter board “has made no decision to sell the company at this time,” but said “every available alternative — including a merger or sale of the company, a financial restructuring, or a spinoff or sale of one or more of the company’s businesses — would be examined and considered.”