No serious discussions for sale of the entire company have taken place, said Chairman-CEO Herbert M. Baum in a statement, though he said the company has received interest in parts of the business. Selling the company will be a top priority, he said, though he would not predict when or if the sale actually will take place.
While Dial will entertain offers for sale in parts, that would result in higher tax liabilities, said Mr. Baum, who has discussed the prospect of selling the company several times since he took charge of the company a year ago.
Analysts and industry obsevers have identified Sara Lee Corp. and Japan's Kao Corp. among potential buyers of Dial, which makes Dial soap, Purex laundry detergent, Renuzit air fresheners and Armor canned meats. Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, handles Dial soap while Cramer Krasselt, Chicago, handles Purex and Zout.
After a tumultuous 2000 that saw the company miss earnings projections for three quarters and oust former Chairman-CEO Mal Jozoff, Dial has posted improved sales and earnings the past two quarters. -- Jack Neff
Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.