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JERSEY CITY, NJ-Wilshire Enterprises Inc. officials say that several parties have approached the company’s investment banker, Deloitte & Touche, expressing at least preliminary interest in acquiring the company. The decision to put the company on the block was made this past June at its annual meeting, although the seeds were planted more than a year ago.

“As a result of the strategic review process initiated by the board of directors in 2002, the company continues to evaluate all alternatives to maximize shareholder value,” according to Sherry Wilzig Izak, chairman/CEO of Wilshire. The Jersey City-based company owns and manages real estate properties and is involved in the exploration and development of oil and gas.

“Deloitte & Touche has recommended that the company enter into discussions with qualified parties in regard to selling all of the outstanding stock of the company,” Izak continues. “As previously announced, the company has been preparing to market its oil and gas business to prospective purchasers. While the company will evaluate offers for both of its businesses, it does not intend to consider the sale of its real estate business without the concurrent sale of its oil and gas business.”

The company used to be known as Wilshire Oil Co. of Texas, but that changed this past June when shareholders approved the name change to Wilshire Enterprises Inc. “We believe that our new name will maintain the well-known ‘Wilshire’ name, while not limiting our future direction,” Izak said at the time.

According to company officials, real estate now accounts for about 70% of Wilshire’s revenues. It holdings include 1,800 residential units, commercial buildings, land leases and vacant parcels in five states, and just last month it opened the 89-room Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, NJ.

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