National Gypsum rejects bid of $1.12 billion from BPB


National Gypsum Co. rejected yesterday a $1.12 billion takeover offer from BPB Industries PLC, Europe's largest wallboard manufacturer, but held out the possibility of considering a higher offer.

National Gypsum said the offer of $48.50 a share in cash made Tuesday by BPB Industries was inadequate. The rejection came a day after a previously spurned suitor, Delcor Inc., said it was considering topping the BPB bid.

Expecting the bidding for Charlotte, N.C.-based National Gypsum to intensify, analysts said the chances of the company's remaining independent were diminishing.

"Management obviously has an equation in mind" for what the right selling price is, said David Smith, an analyst with Suncoast Capital Corp. in Austin, Texas.

Investors apparently anticipate a higher bid. Shares of National Gypsum rose 56.25 cents yesterday, to $50.8125. The stock has risen 14 percent since BPB made its bid.

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