The Hain Celestial Group’s chief executive commented this week on a report that Nestle SA, of Switzerland, could see his company as a takeover target.
"We're an exciting company, a public company," Irwin Simon said on CNBC, the news channel reported Wednesday. "If it was right for our shareholders, it's right for the company."
The idea of Nestle — or another large company, Unilever — buying the Melville natural foods maker was first broached in a report on SeekingAlpha.com earlier this month. The website obtained a UBS report saying the two might be interested in the buy. The website added, though, that recent share increases have affected Hain’s price-earnings ratio, and may have made it a less attractive takeover target.
In the CNBC interview, Simon also commented on the two board members Hain was forced to accept under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, a major shareholder.
Icahn’s two board members have been "helpful," Simon told CNBC. "We look for a relationship that will be fruitful for both of us," he said.