When Norman E. Alexander, the chairman and founder of Sequa Corp., died Tuesday at the age of 92, the news of his death sent the company’s stock surging Wednesday by about 10 percent, to close at $116.98.
The 65,400 shares that traded Wednesday were about 10 times the prior day’s volume and about triple the average daily volume for the past three months.
In an announcement, Martin Weinstein, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Sequa said, “The officers, directors and employees of Sequa Corporation are saddened by the death of Norman Alexander, founder and leader of the company for more than 50 years.”
Alexander was one of the longest-tenured chief executives in American industrial history, relinquishing the title and responsibilities of chief executive officer in 2005 and becoming executive chairman.
Investors were apparently reacting to the increased likelihood that with Alexander’s death, the company may soon decide to restructure, shed businesses, or sell altogether.