After refusing for weeks to sell out to Baltimore's Allegheny Beverage Corp., officials of the Macke Co. yesterday asked Allegheny to make them an offer.
Macke issued a statement saying its lawyers are talking to Allegheny's lawyers about a possible cash purchase of all the Macke shares that Allegheny doesn't own already.
Allegheny has been buying Macke stoc k aggressively since April and now is Macke's biggest stockholder. As of a week ago, Allegheny owned 33.6 percent of Macke's shares, the company reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission last Thursday.
The Baltimore Pepsi-Cola bottler began buying Macke shares in the open market after Macke's two biggest shareholders rejected an offer to sell their stock for $15 a share.
Neither side would say yesterday whether any price has been discussed in the lastest talks. Since the take-over bid began, there has been unusually heavy trading in Macke shares, and the price has jumped from $8 a share to the low teens. Yesterday on the American Stock Exchange, Macke closed up 3/4 to 13 3/8 as 24,700 shares changed hands.
In the statement issued yesterday, Mcke said Allegheny has not responded to its request for a cash offer for all the shares. Macke said Allegheny would not make "even a preliminary determination as to its course of action, until it had an opportunity to review an analyze certain information about Macke."
Macke said it is compiling the information that Allegheny asked for.
Allegheny's spokesman refused to elaborate on the Macke announcement. From the beginning, Allegheny has said it is considering all possible options for its investment in Macke, including selling the shares it has bought or buyig enough additional stock to take control of the company.
Until Allegheny came along, Macke's biggest stockholders were its chairman Meyer Gelfand and his family and retired chairman Aaron Goldman and his family. The two families hold about 22 percent of the Macke stock.
Gelfand said yesterday further talks with Allegheny are anticipated but none has been scheduled yet.
A multi-million-dollar business literally built on nickels and dimes, Macke is one of the nation's oldest and largest vending machine companies.