Century City-based Teledyne Inc. took itself off the auction block Wednesday on the grounds that the performance of its businesses is more valuable to investors than a sale of the conglomerate.
A special committee of Teledyne's directors concluded that the company's recent profit gains and "the future potential" of its operations outlast the various proposals Teledyne received for all or major parts of the company, Chairman William Rutledge said in an interview.
Teledyne, with interests in aerospace products, industrial goods and consumer products, formally began searching for a possible buyer last March.
The move came after WHX Corp., parent of steelmaker Wheeling-Pittsburgh Corp., made an unsolicited, $1.2-billion bid to acquire Teledyne, which Teledyne rejected. But Ronald LaBow, an investment banker who runs WHX, did get elected to Teledyne's board last spring.
LaBow was not on the special committee that proposed ending the search, Rutledge said, adding that when its recommendation was put before the full board for a vote, LaBow abstained. "He didn't have any comment" after the vote, Rutledge said.
LaBow could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Teledyne's performance has improved markedly this year, owing partly to cost cutting and new product developments. In the nine months ended Sept. 30, Teledyne reported a $131.4-million profit, contrasted with a $24.8-million loss a year earlier, and sales rose 10%, to $1.93 billion from $1.75 billion.
However, Teledyne's stock hasn't moved much since the company began soliciting bids. Shares closed Wednesday at $25.125 on the New York Stock Exchange, unchanged on the day and down about $1 from their level in late March.