Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Barington Capital Group

Last month the Barington Capital Group sent a letter to the bigwigs of Ameron Int'l Corp. advising Ameron to rationalize and refocus its portfolio.

Ameron (NYSE: AMN), a company based in Pasadena, Calif., producers of water transmission lines and fabricated steel products, such as wind towers; fiberglass-composite pipe for transporting oil, chemicals and corrosive fluids and specialized materials; and products used in infrastructure projects.

As for Barington, we've encountered them once before.

The letter was addressed James S. Marlen, the Chairman and CEO of Ameron. It said that Ameron has unused potential that is being ignored due to its leading market positions, attractive end markets, valuable joint ventures and a healthy, asset-rich balance sheet.

On March 31, Marlen replied, in what sounds like passive-aggressive fashion. "While we wholeheartedly agree with you that Ameron's stock is undervalued given its long list of positive attributes, which include leading market positions, attractive end markets, valuable affiliations and a healthy, asset-rich balance sheet, we disagree with many of your theories as to why Ameron is undervalued. We look forward to discussing these positive attributes with Barington and all of our valued shareholders in the future."

Presumably, then, they do not think that their portfolio of products is inadequately focused.

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