Banta Says No; Burton Ups Offer
MENASHA, WI—Do we hear $51? That is the question Banta Corp. may be asking the consolidation community in the wake of its rejection of a $47 per share bid made by Cenveo and its chairman and CEO, Robert Burton. Cenveo, in return, has raised its bid and set a deadline for a deal.
In the same breath, Banta not only rejected Burton’s bid but also decided to revisit the company’s own strategic initiatives for maximizing shareholder value. The ideas being kicked around include, but are not limited to, selling the company, remaining independent, a merger or acquisition, and a further return of capital.
Stephanie Streeter, Banta chairman, president and CEO, said that while she remains confident in her company’s game plan, she nonetheless wants to seek opportunities to further enhance its value.
Ever undaunted, Burton came back with a bid of $50 per share, which “represents our best and final proposal to acquire Banta,” he said in a letter Tuesday to Streeter. That amount would fall to $34 a share after the record date for Banta’s special dividend to shareholders.
Banta has until 5 p.m. on October 31 to accept Cenveo’s proposal, after which the deal comes off the table.
“Since we made our original proposal almost eight weeks ago, we believe that our deadline will provide you with plenty of time to determine if there are any third parties willing to pay more than Cenveo and otherwise conclude your exploration of potential ‘strategies for maximizing shareholder value,’” Burton wrote.
In other Banta news, Streeter identified which operations would be impacted by its previously announced cost-cutting initiatives. Its Eden Prairie, MN, book plant will close by year’s end, resulting in the loss of 72 jobs. The Spanish Fork, UT, literature management and fulfillment facility will also be shuttered before 2006 ends, leaving 17 out of work.
Banta is offering its direct marketing printing plant in Danbury, CT, for sale. With 200 employees, its general commercial focus is said to no longer align with Banta’s specialized and highly personalized direct marketing emphasis.
Lastly, three book fulfillment facilities will be closed and consolidated into a new, larger facility. The plants to be consolidated (into a facility in a to-be-determined locale) are in the Wisconsin towns of Appleton, Menasha and Kaukauna. Of the 400 employed at the three plants, 325 will be relocated.
Additionally, up to 150 employees will be cut loose across the organization. All combined actions, including the sale, will impact about 500 positions.