Builder William Lyon’s bid to take over Golden West Homes for $12.5 million, or $5 per share, was accepted Monday by a slim majority of shareholders, according to officials of the Santa Ana-based mobile home manufacturing company.
Stockholder approval of the acquisition, which could be completed by the end of this week, was announced by Golden West President Harry Karsten Jr. at a perfunctory shareholders’ meeting th1635000431three employee-shareholders bothered to attend.
Initially, the shareholder vote was to be counted last Wednesday. However, not enough votes had been received at that time, and the company’s directors extended the voting deadline until Monday.
Even after a concerted get-out-the-vote effort by Golden West officials, Lyon’s offer was approved by less than one-half of 1% of the votes required.
Large Lyon Holding
Golden West attorney John R. Stahr said 65% of the outstanding shares in Golden West were voted in favor of the merger, but those included 909,416 shares held by the William Lyon Co. Approval of the Lyon/Golden West merger required both a majority vote of all outstanding shares and a majority of the shares not held by Lyon.
Excluding the Lyon Co. shares, approximately 50.3% of the votes that were cast favored the Lyon buy-out.
Stahr said there are “definitely some” shareholders who have informed the company that they will fight to obtain a higher price for their stock by going to court.
At least two shareholders, Michael and Roy Doumani, who together hold 5.2% of Golden West’s shares, say they have notified Golden West that they will take legal action.
Dissidents Question Lyon
The abbreviated shareholders’ meeting Monday was in sharp contrast to the meeting last Wednesday when Lyon and other Golden West directors were questioned by dissident shareholders.
Some of the shareholders said they believe that Golden West, after sustaining four consecutive years of losses, is about to benefit from lower mortgage rates and a rebound in the housing market.
In its last fiscal year, Golden West reported a net loss of $9.3 million. But in the first nine months of fiscal 1986, ending March 1, Golden West had net income of $427,000, contrasted with a net loss of $7.3 million in the same period of fiscal 1985.
After the vote count Monday, Karsten said he was “happy the results came out the way they did.” He said the alliance between Lyon and Golden West is “just a natural marriage.” Karsten said Lyon had assured him that he would stay on as the company’s chief executive.
“I think the financial stability of the Lyon Co. and its experience in real estate will assist Golden West,” said Karsten.
He said he expects that Lyon’s expertise will help Golden West extricate itself from some bad real estate investments and re-concentrate the company’s efforts on mobile home manufacturing.
Lyon refused to make any comment on the Golden West acquisition until the deal is consummated.
But he and Lyon Co. President Dick J. Randall met with Golden West employees Monday to introduce themselves and declare their “great confidence in this company and its management.”