FOREST CITY, Iowa, May 19 (UPI) -- Winnebago Industries officials in Iowa said they were highly skeptical of a private equity firm's offer to buy the firm even at a significant premium.
The latest offer from North Street Capital of Greenwich, Conn., is to buy the recreational vehicle assembly firm for $11 per share, a 29 percent premium above the firm's share price on Friday, the Des Moines (Iowa) Register reported Saturday.
North Street had previously offered $10.25 per share, but even the latest offer was greeted with underwhelming enthusiasm from investors, as news of the $11 per share offer only bumped Winnebago's share price on the market up 15 cents to $8.66.
"They would need to tell us how they would propose to pay for it. We need to know that this is a legitimate offer," said Winnebago spokeswoman Sheila Davis.
North Street's managing partner Alex Mascioli said the equity firm has already answered a series of questions from Winnebago and has already told the firm who the deal's underwriter would be. Mascioli said he would make that information public next week.
Given the sluggish economy and the current credit environment, which is very tight, Mascioli said the market for recreational vehicles was "pretty stagnant."
"We're less attracted by the name Winnebago than we are by the company itself internally and its integrity to manufacturing," Mascioli said.
The company would retrofit its manufacturing capacity to custom build cars and trucks, as well as RVs, the newspaper said.
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