I believe that if there was a premium offer then there would be a deal announced already. I think the problem is this: Peltz got his son-in-law on the board, and said to the CEM board: sell the company now. So they hired Merrill Lynch to conduct a sale. No strategic buyers emerged. Apollo and Blackstone each were interested in different pieces of the business at prices that made sense for them -- but I don't think their bids were very high. Its a target rich market right now for LBO firms, valuations have adjusted down across the board, and financing is available but at higher cost. I think that Apollo and Blackstone in this case are true bottom fishers, and have come back with bids that represent a discount to the current market price, or at least effectively no premium to the price prior to the news of their bid interest. So now the board is in a quandry: follow Peltz's order to sell the company, at a take under price that will enrage everyone, or sit tight and wait for better days, a course that likely will enrage everyone. Bottom line, the company can only be sold for what a buyer is willing to pay. The buyers are bottom fishers. I don't think there is a happy end here for shareholders.
The PE firms may make an offer, but that doesn't mean a lot. Apollo (via its chemical company Hexion) offered $28/share for Huntsman (HUN) last summer. The market has priced Huntsman at near pre-buyout price (it's at about $21 today, implying that Apollo won't be able to close the deal).
From what I have been told, it was the Chemtura board that walked away from the earlier deal and they are almost out of time on this one also. If they walk away from this one, who knows how long it will be before anyone else is interested.
I was told yesterday that things are absolutely horrible in Middlebury. Everything is going downhill, even divisions that were doing ok are now headed in the opposite direction. One source tells me that Bob Wedinger thinks that he has the inside track to be the next CEO. I've got news for him, if this PE deal goes through, it isn't him. They already have their CEO selected and its a guy with a long track record in the chemical industry who has both experience in running a company and also in dismantling a company.