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UPDATE 1- Largest investor asks Layne Christensen to reorganize
August 25, 2014 / 12:20 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1- Largest investor asks Layne Christensen to reorganize

(Adds details, background)

Aug 25 (Reuters) - Layne Christensen Co’s largest shareholder said it had asked the water management company to reorganize and consider selling a division to repay debt.

Investment manager Van Den Berg Management I Inc, which said it presented its proposals to the company on Aug. 13, said it held a 16.2 percent stake in the Woodlands, Texas-based company.

Layne Christensen, whose customers include miners and drillers, has been struggling with project delays, regulatory investigations and top level exits.

The company reported a much-bigger-than-expected loss in its first-quarter ended April. Revenue fell 15.5 percent to $191.2 million.

The company had a total debt of $163 million and cash and cash equivalents of $21.2 million, as of April 30.

Layne Christensen’s Chief Financial Officer James Easter and Chief Accounting Officer Martha Vance resigned last month. Chief Executive Rene Robichaud quit in June.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the company for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company recently said the DoJ has decided not to file any charges.

The company was being investigated over some payments it made in certain countries in Africa.

Van Den Berg Management, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, also said it had suggested a share buyback program to increase shareholder value.

Layne Christensen had fallen more than 41 percent in the past 12 months to Friday’s close of $11.29 on the Nasdaq. (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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