Financier Victor Posner agreed today to end his yearlong pursuit of National Can Corp. and sell his 38 percent stake in the packaging company to Triangle Industries Inc., which made a $420 million offer for National Can on Tuesday.
National Can has not yet formally accepted the takeover offer from Triangle, a Brunswick, N.J.-based maker of currency changers, vending machines, jukeboxes and wire products. But the company has said it probably would consider any bid that improved upon its ongoing $40-a-share offer for its own stock. Triangle's offer is worth $41 a share.
Meanwhile, New York investor Carl Icahn, who disclosed Tuesday that he had purchased 9.1 percent of National Can and was contemplating his own offer to take over the company, had no comment on Triangle's bid.
However, Icahn had said his purchase was for "arbitrage" purposes; he could make about $24 million just by selling his recently bought National Can shares to Triangle. Icahn recently made a roughly $50 million profit on his holdings in Phillips Petroleum Co. after that company bought back half its shares as an alternative to an Icahn-led takeover.
Posner stands to profit even more handsomely. His 3.6 million National Can shares, bought for an average price of about $22 each, would bring a profit of about $70 million under Triangle's offer.
Posner has been trying to get control of National Can for a year. At first, he had a friendly agreement for a buyout of the company, but that arrangement collapsed several weeks ago.
Posner then said he would attempt an unfriendly takeover of the company, but National Can countered with its own offer of $40 apiece for slightly more than half its shares, a tactic designed to freeze Posner's position and leave him with a large number of shares with sharply decreased values.
Chicago-based National Can is a much larger company than Triangle. National Can had $43.2 million in income last year on $1.9 billion in sales, while Triangle earned $3.2 million last year on $290.8 million in sales.