Imperial Sugar Company Announces the Reduction in Size of Its Board of Directors
The Company said that H. E. Lentz, Managing Director of Lehman Brothers Inc., is resigning because he determined that the recent establishment by Lehman Brothers of a significant position in Imperial Sugar's 9 3/4% senior subordinated debentures could create a future conflict of interest with his role as an independent outside director. Mr. Lentz has been an Imperial Sugar Director since 1993.
Kevin O'Sullivan, Chief Financial Officer of Greencore Group plc, has been a director since 1996. Greencore, which owns approximately 15% of Imperial's common stock, has stated its shareholding in Imperial is no longer a long-term trade investment and has discussed with the Company its desire to effect an orderly disposal of its holdings. For these reasons, the Company and Greencore believed it would be appropriate for Greencore to reduce its representation on the Board of Directors. David Dilger, Chief Executive Officer of Greencore, continues as a director of Imperial.
James C. Kempner, Chief Executive Officer of Imperial, stated, "The Board and officers of our company, and I personally, will miss the counsel of these gentlemen. Jack Lentz's investment banking experience has been particularly valuable in Imperial's growth in size and diversity of operations in the seven years he has been a director. Kevin O'Sullivan, with his long experience in the European sugar industry, has provided a valuable perspective into our industry."
Mr. Kempner continued, "We had previously retained the investment banking firm of Credit Suisse First Boston ("CSFB") to advise us on raising additional equity capital and restructuring our balance sheet in view of the unsettled nature of the domestic sugar industry and the Company's relatively highly leveraged capital structure. The Company will work with Greencore in the disposal of its interest in Imperial as part of CSFB's ongoing assignment."
Imperial Sugar Company is the largest processor and marketer of refined sugar in the United States and a major distributor to the food service market. The Company markets its products nationally under the Imperial(TM), Dixie Crystals(TM), Spreckels(TM), Pioneer(TM), Holly(TM), Diamond Crystal(TM) and Wholesome Sweeteners(TM) brands. Additional information about Imperial Sugar may be found on its web site at www.imperialsugar.com.
Statements regarding future market prices, operating results, synergies, sugarbeet acreage, future operating efficiencies, cost savings and other statements which are not historical facts contained in this release are forward-looking statements that involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These include, but are not limited to, market factors, the effect of weather and economic conditions, farm and trade policy, the ability of the Company to realize planned cost savings, the available supply of sugar, available quantity and quality of sugarbeets and other factors detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may vary materially from those indicated.
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