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Sunbeam Sets Restructuring

Sunbeam announced a restructuring program Monday that includes suspending dividend payments and reversing plans to shut down some of the embattled consumer products company's plants.

Sunbeam said it would break the company up into three divisions; outdoor leisure, household products and international. The company will also have a corporate group.

Under ousted Chief Executive Al "Chainsaw" Dunlap, Sunbeam was going to close eight plants. However, the company will keep running its Coleman plants in Maize, Kan. and Pocola, Okla.; the First Alert plant in Aurora, Ill.; and the Sunbeam plant in Acuna, Mexico.

Additionally, the company scrapped plans to sell its Eastpak and Powermate businesses.

The company, which said it will stop paying a quarterly dividend of 1 cent a share, also plans to give employees stock options. The company hopes that will help shareholder value and give employees incentives, Sunbeam said.

Employees will be able to swap up to 6.45 million options with an exercise price of $10 a share for fewer shares with an exercise price of $7 a share. Its executive management has signed two- or three-year employment agreements with Sunbeam and have been granted the options at $7 a share, the company said.

Chief Executive Jerry Levin will have his options exercised at $7 a share, $10.50 a share and $14 a share, however. Sunbeam shares closed up 1/4 to 8 13/16 ahead of the news Monday.

Written By Tiare Rath

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