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LSB fires back at hedge fund pushing company to make changes

Publicly traded Oklahoma City firm claims criticisms are misleading or unfounded.
by Brianna Bailey Modified: January 21, 2014 at 10:20 pm •  Published: January 22, 2014

After coming under attack from a hedge fund which says it plans to launch a proxy fight, LSB Industries Inc. is firing back against claims that the company lacks proper oversight and that its stock is undervalued because of mismanagement and other internal problems.

Jack Golsen, LSB's chairman and CEO, said in a letter to shareholders that the company's board rejected most of New York-based hedge fund Engine Capital's demands that the company spin off its climate control business and make governance reforms.

LSB's board has decided that the hedge fund's ideas about boosting profitability would not work, the letter said.

“The proposals from Engine Capital are not new or novel,” LSB said in its letter to shareholders. “The proposals are all actions that your board has previously considered and evaluated, and determined not to be in the best interest of shareholders.”

Golsen also said in the letter that the methods Engine Capital used to state that the company is significantly undervalued were “misleading.”

Engine Capital said in an open letter to LSB's board in December that the company could be worth as much as $1.5 billion — nearly twice its current estimated enterprise value of about $850 million. LSB operates a chemical business and a climate control unit.

Golsen said in his letter that Engine Capital has used metrics to value the company at $1.5 billion that do not take into account significant production and geographic differences between LSB and other companies.

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by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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