Interest up in Atlanta’s Georgia Gulf

Ah, M&A action: It’s fantastic.

A week or so ago we reported that Atlanta-based Georgia Gulf Corp. was the subject of an unsolicited purchase offer from a Houston company, Westlake Chemical Corp.

Georgia Gulf, which has about 60 employees at its Perimeter-area headquarters _ a minute fragment of its 3,600-employee workforce _ didn’t like it and rejected the offer.

Now,  “North America’s largest maker of vinyl construction products is poised to secure the biggest takeover price increase in the U.S. as signs grow that the housing slump has bottomed,” Bloomberg contends.

The company’s stock was trading at 15 percent over the recent offer price, the report notes,” the widest gap of any pending U.S. takeover.”

Business bottomed out when the housing construction industry cratered _ the company makes vinyl siding and window frames. But with home building fortunes on the upswing, things are looking bright.

Rival Westlake offered $30 a share in cash, which it said was a 51 percent premium to Georgia Gulf’s 30-day average share price. It said it made the move when Georgia Gulf did not respond to its interest in acquisition last fall.

This, from Georgia Gulf: “Westlake’s proposal reflects only a 23 percent premium to Georgia Gulf’s trading price of $24.48 per share on the last trading day prior to Westlake’s public proposal. The proposal also represents a discount of 26 percent to our 52-week high.”

And this, from Westlake: “Westlake is a disciplined acquirer and we won’t pay more for Georgia Gulf than we think it’s worth. We’ve made a fair offer with a significant premium. If Georgia Gulf’s board think there are opportunities that would justify increasing our proposal, they should sit down with us to explain what these are.”

Stay tuned.

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