CHICAGO -- Trading in the stock of Jewel Cos. resumed on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday after being halted for a company announcement that never came.
Jewel, a large Chicago-based supermarket and drugstore chain, has been resisting a $70-per-share takeover bid from American Stores Inc. of Salt Lake City. Thursday is the legal deadline for Jewel to file a response to the offer with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Trading was suspended at 11:15 EDT because the company was 'engaged in discussions regarding a possible transaction that would be of significance to Jewel shareholders,' a company statement said.
By late afternoon the company had made no announcement. Trading was reopened at 2:31 EDT 'because the exchange decided to do it,' a Jewel spokeswoman said. The price of Jewel shares then jumped $6 to $68. The spokeswoman said an announcement was expected 'soon,' probably Thursday morning.
At Jewel's annual meeting Tuesday, the company said it is selling its remaining 105 Jewel T discount grocery stores in two separate transactions.
The spokeswoman said the announcement that had halted trading was not related to the sale of the Jewel T Stores.
Jewel did not announce the total purchase price for the stores but said the sale would result in a writeoff of $1.5 million to $2.5 million.
The company said in one transaction closed June 4, Russell Wright, vice president for Jewel T operations in Texas, purchased the 28 stores there.
The other transaction involves 77 stores being purchased by a group of investors who were not identified. The stores are located in Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia and New Jersey.