Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Universal Oil Processes, Inc. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Universal Oil Processes, Inc.

List of Deals

Universal Oil Processes was incorporated in Delaware on October 21, 1958. It was formed by three investment firms—Lehman Brothers; Smith Barney & Company; and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith—for the purpose of acquiring the assets and business of Universal Oil Products Company.

Universal Oil Products was created in 1914. It was originally formed to acquire patents relating to a thermal cracking process that represented an advance in oil refining. That process was no longer a source of income by the 1950s, but over the decades Universal had maintained its position as a cutting-edge research and development firm that licensed patents and processes and provided services to the petroleum, petrochemical, and chemical industries.

All of the stock in Universal Oil Products was owned by a trust called the Petroleum Research Fund that was held by Guaranty Trust Company of New York as trustee. The fund was set up in 1944 by a group of oil companies that donated their share of Universal Oil Products to the fund. The American Chemical Society was entitled to the income from the fund, which was used to advance education and research in the petroleum field.

On February 5, 1959, Universal Oil Processes went public with a sale of 2.9 million shares of common stock at twenty-five dollars per share in a deal valued at $72.5 million. The offering price of twenty-five dollars was approved by New York State Supreme Court Justice Jacob Markowitz, which was required under the terms of the trust

On February 11, 1959, Universal Oil Processes, Inc., acquired Universal Oil Products Company and assumed their name.

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