A Wall Street investment company has become the largest single shareholder in Rexene Corp., and is seeking to change Rexene's management and force the sale of the company. Wyser-Pratte Management Co. Inc. of New York has reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it and a Wall Street trading company, Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, have acquired 1.8 million shares of Rexene.
The acquisitions give Wyser-Pratte control of a 9.8 percent stake in Rexene, a maker of polyethylene, polypropylene, plastic films and other specialty chemicals based in Dallas.
In a report filed with the SEC, Guy Wyser-Pratte said he is seeking to make the company respond to proposals by Huntsman Corp. of Salt Lake City or other parties.
In August, Huntsman made several offers to buy Rexene. In its last proposal, Huntsman offered to pay $15 per share for Rexene stock and assume $175 million in debt in a deal that would have totaled $462 million. Before Huntsman made its first offer for Rexene, company stock was trading at $9.25.
Rexene's managers rejected Huntsman's offers, saying they believed they were carrying out plans that would increase shareholder value beyond Huntsman's offers.
Wyser-Pratte filed a Form 13D with the SEC soon after. The filing said Wyser-Pratte hopes to make changes in the company's management and board of directors that would lead it to consider purchase offers from third parties such as Huntsman.
Guy Wyser-Pratte could not be reached for further comment.
Neil Devroy, Rexene vice president of communications, said Oct. 30 that Rexene's management is continuing to implement expansion and improvement programs that it believes will enhance shareholder value.
While Devroy said Wyser-Pratte has not contacted the company formally, he said management ``is delighted that Huntsman and other investors see the enhanced value of the company.''