Richard A. Bachmann, EPL's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are committed to continuing our process of exploring all options to maximize stockholder value, including a possible sale of the Company. A number of parties have already signed or have agreed to sign confidentiality agreements, and we are entertaining interest from others. Woodside's ultimatum and disingenuous rhetoric will not deter our Board of Directors from pursuing the best interests of all EPL stockholders.
"Woodside's self-serving behavior is very disappointing. We have not heard a word from them since our Board announced its process to explore strategic alternatives on October 12, 2006, and they have not sought to participate in this process, as many other companies are doing. In addition, Woodside has backtracked on its promise to pass through to EPL stockholders the savings from a reduced Stone termination fee, effectively reducing its original offer," concluded Mr. Bachmann.
The Company added that it firmly believes the Board's strategic alternatives process offers greater opportunity to maximize stockholder value. It is clear that EPL stockholders continue to agree with the Board's determination, as for the third time, ATS has reported that significantly fewer than 1% of EPL's outstanding shares have been tendered. The Company intends to vigorously oppose ATS' attempt to replace EPL's experienced directors with its own handpicked, paid nominees who are intended to facilitate a transaction between EPL and ATS at a price the EPL Board has already determined is inadequate and not in the best interests of stockholders.
The Company intends to engage in discussions with parties who sign confidentiality agreements and does not intend to further disclose developments with respect to this process unless and until an agreement in principle or a definitive agreement has been reached.
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