W-P profitability vowed as Esmark buyout OK’d
Nov 27, 2007 | 02:23 PM
| Maria Guzzo
Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp. shareholders have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the company's takeover by Esmark Inc., Chicago.
Board members, United Steelworkers union representatives and shareholders gathered in Pittsburgh Tuesday to hear the count, which showed that 93 percent of shareholders who voted favored the merger. Approximately 11.5 million of the 15.5 million shares outstanding were voted, the company said.
"I know we have a lot of naysayers, but I promise you we will succeed," James Bouchard, chairman and chief executive officer of newly formed holding company, Esmark Inc., told attendees, pledging to resign if the company doesn't become profitable. "If we don't do it, I won't be here next year."
Craig Bouchard, Esmark's vice chairman and president, said the merger brought $169 million of liquidity to Wheeling-Pittsburgh's coffers from the original Esmark assets, which includes $100 million worth of inventory and receivables; from an unused Esmark borrowing facility; and $50 million from investor Franklin Mutual Advisors LLC. "Wheeling-Pittsburgh hasn't had that much money in decades," he said. "We really have to hand it to the people who have worked on a shoestring budget for their whole career."....
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