Gould Inc., a manufacturer of industrial and electrical products, withdrew its $70-a-share offer to buy Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corp. yesterday after Fairchild said it would merge with Schlumberger Ltd.
But Gould, based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., added that it is continuing to study the matter. Schlumberger, an engineering firm based in New York, primarily services the oil-field industry.
Fairchild, a Mountain View, Calif., maker of electronic components, has announced it has agreed to be taken over by Schlumberger, which has offered $363 million in cash, or $66 a share, for all of Fairchild's outstanding shares. The bid was accepted at a meeting of the Fairchild board on Saturday.
Earlier, Gould had offered $57 a share for Fairchild. That later was increased to $70 a share, contingent on acceptance by the Fairchild board by yesterday. The Fairchild board said it considered the offer, but rejected it.
In other merger news yesterday:
Leo L. Mellam, chairman and chief executive of Flexi-Van Corp., said Flexi-Van plans to acquire Seaboard World Airlines Inc. for $18.25 a share.
Richard M. Jackson, chairman and chief executive of Seaboard, said his board had voted to approve such an acquisition and recommend its acceptance to Seaboard's stockholders.
On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York dismissed Seaboard's complaint that Tiger International Inc. made false and misleading statements in its Jan. 18 tender offer to purchase 638,000 shares to Seaboard common stock.
In a split decision, the court said the issue is now before the Civil Aeronautics Board and "this clearly is the arena in which the contest should be waged."
George S. Trimble, president and chief executive of Bunker Ramo Corp., said he has serious reservations regarding Bunker Ramo's board giving permission to Fairchild Industries Inc. to purchase additional Bunker Ramo shares and subsequently merge Bunker Ramo into a Fairchild Industries subsidiary, as has been proposed by Fairchild.
In addition, Trimble said, it is important for investors to understand that Fairchild cannot move forward unless Bunker Ramo's board consents and that Fairchild's proposal was formulated without consultation with Bunker Ramo or its financial adviser.
Reliance Electric Co. said that, while Exxon Corp. has initiated discussions with Reliance Electric for its possible acquisition by Exxon, "No definite offer has been made."
B. Charles Ames, Reliance Electric president, said "There can be no assurance that an offer will be made, and if so, whether it will be adequate."
Ames noted that "should Exxon seek a combination with Reliance, difficult legal questions have to be considered. Reliance has retained legal and investment banking counsel to assist it in evaluating any proposal."
Continental Group Inc. has signed an agreement in principal to acquire Florida Gas Co. for about $50 a share in cash and securities.
Continental, a diversified company with interests in container manufactuering and insurance, noted it has explored for oil and gas in a joint venture with Florida Gas and others.