On The Block

Columbus, Ohio-based Max & Erma’s Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ:MAXE), a chain of casual eateries with 78 owned-and-operated locations and 23 franchise restaurants throughout the East Coast and Midwest, hit a slight rough patch and is considering its options. Revenue for the third quarter fell 3.6 percent, from $40.6 million in 2006 to $39.2 million for the third quarter of 2007; year-to-date revenue has fallen 3.7 percent, from $141.0 million in 2006 to $135.9 million this year. Coming on the heels of the drop in revenue is the departure of founder and longtime CEO Todd Barnum, who retired on Sept. 19 after 35 years with the company. In a statement about its third quarter performance, the company indicated it is open to an equity investment, the sale of restaurants to franchisees and third parties, or selling itself entirely.

Ramping up a search for partners or buyers for its oil operations in New Zealand, TAG Oil Ltd. (OTC:TAGOF) has been meeting with advisory firms to review alternatives. The independent Canadian oil and gas production and exploration company is considering selling all or some of its interests and facilities, or merging with strategic partners. TAG Oil’s main asset is a 30.5 percent interest in the Cheal oil field and its production facility. The company also holds a 30.5 percent share in the Crossroads oil prospect as well as stakes in four natural gas prospects. Tag’s operations are located in New Zealand’s Taranaki and East Coast basins.

In late September, the board of directors of Kensey Nash Corp. (NASDAQ:KNSY) approved a $25 million stock repurchase program and affirmed that the company is still considering options for its endovascular business, which designs and manufactures devices used in minimally invasive surgery. The Exton, Pa.-based cardiovascular medical technology company earned total revenue of $69.5 million for the fiscal year ending on June 30, up 15 percent from $60.4 million in 2006. In early July, however, the company announced that it would discontinue its embolic protection platform, which is expected to cost roughly $600,000 for the first fiscal quarter of 2008, according to a statement released by the company.

Ill will between investors and company management prompted PDL BioPharma Inc. (NASDAQ:PDLI) to put itself or its main assets up for sale. Even though Mark McDade, the embattled CEO of the Fremont, Calif.-based drug manufacturer, promised to resign by year’s end, shareholders are still clamoring for the company’s sale. The company had already hired Merrill Lynch as an advisor to help guide the sale of some product lines and other assets. In September, PDL BioPharma announced plans to sell off its marketed medicines and leave the cardiovascular sector in favor of focusing its efforts on immunological diseases and cancer treatments.