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Lifetime Brands board rejects Mill Road buyout offer

Lifetime Brands chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Siegel

Lifetime Brands chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Siegel in the company's Garden City showroom in December 2010. "Lifetime's prospects as an independent company remain strong," he said in a statement on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Credit: Danny Ghitis

Lifetime Brands Inc., a seller of cooking pans, knives and gadgets, said Tuesday night its board of directors has unanimously rejected a buyout offer from a private equity investor.

Garden City-based Lifetime said it has turned down “an unsolicited and non-binding” offer made last month by Mill Road Capital Management LLC.

Mill Road, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, owns more than 11 percent of Lifetime. The private equity firm had offered $20 for every Lifetime share that it doesn’t already own.

The announcement came after the stock market closed. In after-hours trading, Lifetime shares were unchanged from Tuesday’s close of $20.45, which was up 20 cents, or 1 percent, from Monday.

“The Lifetime Board unanimously believes that Lifetime’s prospects as an independent company remain strong and that our goal of continuing to build long-term stockholder value will be best served by remaining focused on the execution of our strategy,” Lifetime CEO Jeffrey Siegel said in a statement.

He also said the company values “the constructive relationship we have had with Mill Road.”

Mill Road managing director Scott P. Scharfman didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail message seeking comment. However, he told Newsday last month Lifetime’s management had “done an outstanding job.”

In the past 12 months, Lifetime shares have increased $5.24, or 34 percent.

The company reported a profit of $15.7 million for the year ended Dec. 31, a 28 percent increase from a year earlier. Sales for the year totaled $593 million, up nearly 1 percent from 2015.

Lifetime, begun in 1945, is best known for its Farberware and KitchenAid cooking items, Pfaltzgraff and Mikasa dinnerware, Hoffritz pots and Sabatier knives. The company employs 1,384 people worldwide.

Mill Road, established in 2004, invests in publicly traded companies with stock market capitalization between $50 million and $300 million. Lifetime’s capitalization is about $298 million.

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