Officials at Crown Central Petroleum Corp. sought to allay fears yesterday that the company might move its headquarters from the Baltimore area.
Yesterday's assurance that the company would remain in Baltimore followed statements Monday by Edward Rosenberg, a member of Crown's controlling family and chief executive of Rosemore Inc., a local holding company that is set to acquire Crown, that it could relocate.
"My family has been a part of the Baltimore community for over a century now, and Crown has been headquartered here since 1930. We have no plans to leave that history behind by departing from Baltimore," Henry A. Rosenberg Sr., chairman of both Crown and Rosemore and Edward Rosenberg's father, said in a statement yesterday. "The topic of leaving this area has never been broached, and Crown's intended merger with Rosemore will not change our commitment to this community."
On Monday, after the troubled refining company announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Rosemore, Edward Rosenberg told The Sun that he was unhappy with a 1998 Baltimore City Council resolution that called on city residents to "support the efforts" of the union that was locked out of Crown's Pasadena, Texas, refinery in 1996. The Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy Workers Union International(PACE), which remains locked out, has recommended a boycott of Crown's gasoline stations.
"I feel somewhat strongly that the way people acted toward Crown is unacceptable," the younger Rosenberg told the paper. "Whether Crown would leave Baltimore, a lot of people's lives are at stake, and it's not a decision we would make simply and easily."
Rosemore, which controls 11 percent of Crown's Class B stock and 49 percent of the Class A stock, had been in a monthlong bidding war for Crown with Apex Oil Co. Inc. of St. Louis. On Friday evening, Crown's board told Rosemore if it would increase its offer from $9.35 a share to $9.50, the board would vote for it. Apex was offering $9.20 a share.
Crown runs two refineries in Texas, 331 gasoline stations and 13 product terminals.