Lamson & Sessions Co. shareholders on Dec. 15 approved an amendment to double the company's authorized common shares to 40 million.
About 75 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the amendment, the company said.
The announcement comes on the heels of Ramius Capital Group LLC's recent efforts to convince Lamson officials to divest the company's PVC pipe-making business. In a Dec. 4 letter to Lamson management, Ramius officials questioned the wisdom of doubling the company's share authorization, saying it would dilute the holdings of existing investors. Ramius owns nearly 6 percent of Lamson's stock.
Shareholders approved the move at a special meeting. Because Lamson already has a regularly scheduled shareholders meeting in April, Ramius officials are convinced that Beachwood, Ohio-based Lamson is in hurry-up mode to pursue an acquisition.
Ramius prefers that Lamson repurchase a significant portion of its shares and immediately sell the pipe extrusion business, which Ramius suggested could fetch between $35 million and $70 million.
``From a valuation perspective, we feel that a sale of the PVC pipe business will significantly enhance shareholder value by bringing in additional cash resources to the company while removing the negative perception and distraction associated with the company's exposure to the highly cyclical and volatile PVC pipe market,'' the letter said.
Lamson Chairman John Schulze said in a Dec. 15 news release that the vote shows that shareholders support the company's growth strategies.