CHICAGO -- Rodman & Renshaw Inc. has received eight written acquisition or merger proposals, a firm official said yesterday.

Greg Quinlivan, general counsel and executive vice president for the Chicago-based firm, said the proposals were received by Rothschild Inc., the advisory firm Rodman has hired to evaluate possible offers.

The firm had set a deadline of 5 p.m. Wednesday, central daylight time, for receiving written proposals. The plan is now to whittle the list of proposals down to a yet-to-be-determined number by next week, Quinlivan said. The short list of proposals will then be further evaluated, he said, adding that no deadline has been established for a final decision by Rodman.

Quinlivan would confirm the source of only two of the eight proposals. One is from Marshall Geller, a California investor who is the largest individual holder of publicly traded Rodman stock. The other is from Josephthal, Lyon & Ross, a New York-based investment bank and brokerage firm.

A previous merger proposal from Josephthal expired on Aug. 20 after Rodman took no action. Earlier in August, Rodman began a 30-day due diligence process to examine possible offers with the help of Rothschild and another adviser, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

Dan Purjes, Josephthal's chairman, president and chief executive officer, did not return phone calls yesterday.

Geller, in a letter to Rothschild outlining his proposal, reiterated his desire to take the helm at Rodman. He said that the only "acceptable alternative" to his proposal would be an acquisition of Rodman that "would deliver a value to the stockholders which I consider fair and acceptable."

If there is no acceptable acquisition proposal and if Rodman rejects his proposal to take over the company. Geller said, he will "consider putting together a fair bid for the company."

Geller also urged Rodman to move quickly to review the proposals submitted Wednesday and to come to a "permanent resolution which is acceptable to stockholders.

"It is my view, as well as that of other interested parties, that timing with respect to solving the problems at the company has become critical," Geller wrote. "As you know, our assets walk out of the door every evening and the turmoil surrounding the company has put it in substantial jeopardy. It is a wasting asset."

Meanwhile, Rodman officials were to have met with Illinois officials yesterday afternoon to discuss the firm's expulsion from an upcoming state bond issue due to sexual harassment complaints.

Rodman was dropped from the state's $150 million general obligation college saver issue as a co-manager on Aug. 31 shortly after state officials learned of three sexual harassment complaints pending against the firm by three former female employees. Rodman officials have denied the charges and said they are fighting the complaints.

Quinlivan has said that Rodman believes it was unfairly singled out because complaints pending against the firm have been publicized in the local press.

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