Shares of Atlanta chemical maker and distributor Axiall (AXLL) rose 2.4% in morning trading to $22.83 after hostile bidder Westlake Chemical (WLK - Get Report) said it would submit an offer as part of its auction process.
Westlake said in a statement that Axiall CFO Greg Thompson advised Westlake CFO Steven Bender that Axiall had re-opened its data room to Westlake and requested that Westlake submit a revised proposal by June 3.
Westlake intends to submit a revised proposal or reaffirm its current proposal on that date. But it said it will continue to proceed with its proxy contest to replace Axiall's board in light of the uncertainty as to whether its strategic alternatives process will conclude, if at all, before Axiall's annual meeting on June 17.
"Westlake does not undertake any obligation to comment further on these matters," it said.
In January Houston-based chemical maker Westlake offered to buy Axiall for $20 per share in cash and shares, or $1.4 billion, and $1.5 billion in debt assumption. After Axiall resisted, Westlake revised its offer to $23.35 per share, or $3.1 billion, which Axiall also rejected.
Westlake launched a proxy fight in April and the two have been bickering ever since. Westlake has expressed concern about Axiall's record of value destruction and underperformance and Axiall has warned investors that an an activist-supported board overhaul would threaten internal restructuring efforts and put its own sale efforts at risk.
Most recently, Axiall called into question Westlake's own performance, which has seen lower earnings with analysts expecting further slippage, as well as its governance practices, noting that CEO Albert Chao (pictured) and his family own 70% of the stock and five of its eight board members have served least least 10 years.
This is Westlake's second hostile run at Axiall, which successfully fought off an unsolicited $1.3 billion offer in 2012.-- Lou Whiteman contributed to this article