ROC Industries Inc. of Englewood, Colo., received two unsolicited unsolicited buyout offers. The offers came from industry leader Manufactured Manufactured Home Communities Communities Inc. of Chicago, and No. 2, Sun Communities Inc. of Farmington Hills. Chateau is the ' third largest company company in the industry industry and ROC is the fourth largest. Manufactured Home's hostile bid would pay $387.3 million for Chateau, while Sun's offer of a "strategic merger" would pay $300 million. Chateau's board met into the late evening Thursday, Section C Sunday, August 25, 1996 Manufactured homes find haven in Metro Detroit Spotlight is on industry as growth, bidding war rages in our back yard. By Steve Raphael The Detroit News More than anything else, Fran Detweiler wanted a fireplace and Jacuzzi in her new home. That was atop her wish list five years ago when she and her husband, Edward Kortes, decided to move from their Howell home to escape high taxes and a time-consuming time-consuming time-consuming three-quarter three-quarter three-quarter acre lot. Detweiler got what she wanted when she bought a manufactured home and moved it to Meadow Lake Estates in White Lake Township, a manufactured home community. .1 "It's a good place to be," she said. "It's comfortable, I like having neighbors, I have no worries about maintenance maintenance or garbage pickup. When we go away on vacation, vacation, our home is looked after." ' - Last week, Metro Detroit became the focal point for the little noticed manufactured home management management industry when a bidding war erupted between the four major companies. 'Z Sterling Heights-based Heights-based Heights-based Chateau Properties Inc., which had announced earlier it would merge with rX "n Alan LessigThe Detroit News "We set standards for the industry copied by other states.", John Boll Chairman, Chateau Properties Inc. but passed on making making a decision, said Chateau Chairman John Boll. He said the company needed more time to study all the offers. ' The flurryiJSf activity surrounding Chateau put the spotlight oh what has become a hot industry, as rising housing prices prompt many buyers to look for cheaper alternatives. Acting like landlords, manufactured home management management companies lease land to the owners of manufactured manufactured homes, formerly called mobile homes. The management companies establish and maintain residential residential communities with paved roads, driveways and yards. The average size of a manufactured home is 1,295 square feet. Investment analysts are currently enamored with companies like Chateau because they are stable, solid solid and return good yields. The industry's strength "is a big surprise to a lot of people ..; this is a very, very low-risk low-risk low-risk business," said Ronald Petrie, an investment analysis with Roney & Co. in Detroit. In 1995, one-third one-third one-third of all new homes built in America America were manufactured homes, according to Chantilly, Va.-based Va.-based Va.-based Manufactured Housing Institute, the trade association of the manufactured housing industry. "The price per square foot, compared to a similar site-built site-built site-built home, is driving our success," said Brian Fannon, chief operating officer of Sun. According to 1993 U.S. Census Bureau figures, the cost per square foot for a manufactured home built in a single section was $20.56. A multiple section section home cost $25.97 per square foot. That compares to $52.88 per square foot for a tra- tra- Please see CHATEAU, Page 3C The bidding for Chateau pitting partners against shareholders could affect the industry. Page 3C v . - fc-S.: fc-S.: fc-S.: X. V Daniel Mears The Detroit News Julie Roche relaxes in Meadow Lake Estates with son, Nicholas, 5, and daughter, Danielle, 10. She praised the homes and their environment environment as "very community-like." community-like." community-like."