Crown Central again extends deadline for Apex offer

Crown Central Petroleum extended another 30 days the deadline for Apex Oil Co. to begin its all-cash tender offer for that company. Crown Central officials previously had moved the deadline to Tuesday from the original Sept. 29 target date for Apex to complete its due diligence.


A special directors committee of Crown Central Petroleum Corp., Baltimore, voted another 30-day extension for Apex Oil Co. to begin an all-cash tender offer for that company, officials said Wednesday.

Crown Central officials previously had moved the deadline to Tuesday from the original Sept. 29 target date for Apex to complete its due diligence. The latest extension is conditioned upon reasonable progress being made throughout the period, officials said.

Earlier this year, Crown Central's board of directors requested a definite acquisition proposal from Apex Oil Co. Inc., a Missouri corporation that already owns about 14.7% of Crown's Class A common stock and 3.5% of its Class B common stock (OGJ Online, Aug. 24, 2000). Apex has said it would buy all of Crown Central's outstanding stock at a cash price of $10.50/share through a fully financed unconditional tender offer. That offer was originally expected to commence by Sept. 29.

In August, Crown Central shareholders rejected a proposed merger with the firm's controlling stockholder, Rosemore Inc. Many Crown Central shareholders had said Rosemore's offer of $9.50/share was too low. As a result, Crown Central officials terminated the merger agreement with Rosemore and said they would not pursue the matter.

Crown Central has been embroiled in labor disputes for some time. The Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical, and Energy Workers International Union (PACE) called a boycott against Crown Central in 1996 after Crown Central locked union workers out of its Pasadena, Tex., refinery. That lock-out is still in effect.

Last month, PACE local 4-227 members rejected a pact that would have settled the union's disagreement with Crown Central and ended the 4 1/2-year lockout (OGJ Online, Oct. 20, 2000).

Headquartered in Baltimore since 1930, Crown operates two Texas refineries with a total capacity of 152,000 barrels per day, 329 Crown gasoline stations and convenience stores in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US, and 13 product terminals along the Colonial, Plantation, and Texas Eastern Products pipelines.

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