On November 19, I told you Rentech was offered a buyout from one of its investors, Sherwood Investments Overseas Ltd, based in the British Virgin Islands. At the time, Rentech shares were worth $1.72. Apparently they haven't given up, because they made another offer on December 18. In the meantime Sherwood has purchased more stock, and Rentech is only selling for $1.37 today. (Click here for a copy of Sherwood's letter to Rentech.) However, Rentech is still not interested. Their Board voted unanimously to reject the offer.
But today a very interesting development occurs. Hunt Ramsbottom, CEO of Rentech, wrote an opinion piece on Huffington Post, which is a popular national liberal blog. Since much of the opposition to Rentech (and other advocates of coal based fuel alternatives) comes from liberal environmentalists, Rentech has obviously decided to burnish its environmental image. This is a good move, since not all liberals are opposed to the process - plus the fact that Congress is controlled by Democrats, that more Democrats will be elected to Congress in 2008, and most importantly a Democrat and environmentalist will be elected President in 2008.
Another tidbit about Rentech is that it recently hired a Washington lobbying firm to represent its interests on Capitol Hill. The firm, Brownstein, Hyatt, & Farber, is based in Denver, Colorado, as is Rentech. However, it is one of the top firms in Washington. It is unique in that it appears to be bipartisan. During the years the Republicans controlled Congress, they refused to deal with lobbying firms that hired Democrats, so it is all the more remarkable that BHF has done so well. However, in 2006, when Democrats regained control of Congress, their revenues shot up, when all those other (Republican hiring) firms lost money. I think Rentech has chosen well, and I'll bet big money it was their idea to write for Huffington Post.
I just hope Rentech doesn't get spooked by the antics of our Keystone Cops Board of Supervisors. That was truly humiliating.