SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets here said it has authorized its financial advisor, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, New York, to explore all options by which the company could enhance shareholder value, including a sale or recapitalization, reversing its previous anti-sale position.
The committee filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in November saying it wanted to hold a special shareholders meeting to reconstitute the company's board with individuals willing to pursue more aggressively a sale or merger.
Robert Weis, chairman and treasurer of Weis Markets as well as Sigfried's first cousin, said in a prepared statement: "The board of directors has previously stated the company is not for sale. However, in an effort to avoid the continuing disruption to our company of a proxy contest and the inevitable attendant litigation, we have agreed to include the alternative and a recapitalization within the range of options that we have asked Morgan Stanley to explore.
"We have initiated a process that will allow the full board of Weis Markets to determine what is in our collective best interest with full information concerning our financial and strategic alternatives."
Janet Weis and Sidney Apfelbaum, a long-time family friend, attorney and trustee, said in a prepared statement: "We are pleased that we can proceed forward on a consensual basis and, accordingly, we have withdrawn our request for a special meeting of shareholders, based on the understanding that there will be a full review of all options available to the company to best serve the interest of its various shareholder, employee and community constituencies. We and our financial advisors, Salomon Smith Barney [New York], look forward to participating constructively in this process."
Weis Markets declined to comment beyond its prepared statement. Janet Weis and other members of her faction could not be reached for comment.