Winnebago RV maker rejects $321.5 million takeover bid

The Winnebago logo. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, file)

LOS ANGELES — Winnebago Industries Inc., maker of the cult favorite recreational vehicles, reviewed and rejected an unsolicited $321.5 million takeover bid from a private equity firm Friday.

In a letter, North Street Capital offered $11 per share in cash for Winnebago — a 29 percent premium over the Iowa company’s Thursday close.

But Winnebago said in a statement that the letter didn’t have “sufficient information to deem the offer as credible” and that the proposal was conditional upon further due diligence and negotiation.

The company said it would look at more information if Connecticut-based North Street decides to offer it and then “respond in due course.”

Winnebago RVs are seemingly omnipresent in popular culture, showing up as a rocket ship in Mel Brooks’ “Spaceballs” film, in “National Lampoon” releases and in songs from the Dead Kennedys and others.

The company’s stock has been volatile in the past 12 months, swinging to close at $8.51 a share Thursday from $12.02 a year earlier.

Winnebago closed up 1.8 precent, or 15 cents a share, at $8.66on Friday, after rising as much as 11% during the day. Investor enthusiasm for the offer tempered after Winnebago raised questions about the credibility of the offer, the Wall Street Journal reported.