TEKELEC BOARD PUTS POISON PILL DEFENSE IN PLACE.
Tekelec, a Calabasas-based maker of diagnostic and network switching equipment for the telecommunications industry, is circling its wagons.
The company's board of directors late Monday instituted a shareholders' rights plan to thwart what it termed ``takeovers that involve abusive tactics or do not provide fair value to shareholders.''
A spokesman for the company said Tekelec had no particular suitor in mind when it implemented the plan, but said recent earnings by the company, new contracts and a large cash supply make it an attractive takeover target.
The plan gives current shareholders the right to buy Tekelec shares for half their market price if any outside entity buys more than 15 percent of the company. And they could buy as many discounted shares in Tekelec as they currently hold.
The plan also gives current shareholders the right to buy a like number of shares in any suitor company at a similar 50 percent discount if the firms are subsequently merged.
Company spokesman Chris Danne said the plan is not meant to discourage all potential buyers, but to let current shareholders fend off unwanted bids.
Tekelec shares closed Tuesday at $32.87. The shares have risen nearly 300 percent since the first of the year when they were trading at just over $8.