Right. It would be a horse of another color if Ferro were just playing hardball to exact ever higher offers from Gannett. And to be correct and fair, I have no evidence that isn't the strategy. But it sure looks like he is irrevocably opposed to a deal and doing whatever he can to block it.
This is obviously an attempt to beat back the merger. It is abundantly clear that Ferro does not want the merger and has some or all of the Board of Directors on his side. I think people holding or buying TPUB in the expectation the price is going higher may very well be disappointed. Lacking a shareholder vote in June that tells the board to sell I do not think there will be a sale. And the $70.5 million deal is just an attempt to control that vote. It is, in a sense, a variant of the gerrymandering of U.S.congressional districts that takes place every 10 years after the census. You know -- if the voters will not pick your guys then choose different voters. In the case of the $70.5 million deal, a new and large pro-Ferro voting bloc has been created. I will leave it to TPUB shareholders to decide on the propriety of that. I am long GCI but have no position in TPUB. For what it is worth, I would not hold TPUB in the face of recent news because if Gannett walks away TPUB shares are likely headed below $8 where they were when this whole thing began.
@wise: Well, not all "investments" are on equal terms. I would want to know what's in the fine print of that person's investment agreement before concluding that his (nominal) $15 share price is the same as the $15 you or I might pay in a retail purchase. I am not alleging anything nefarious, mind you. I am just saying the devil is in the details.
I am not so sure the bid will increase. Based on the documents made public today I believe that, for now anyway, Gannett is going to sit on its hands and await the shareholder vote, which I think is in just a few weeks. This deal is now in the hands of the shareholders IMO. I am long GCI and have nos position in TPUB. If I did hold TPUB shares, though, I believe I would support the $15 per share offer.
Yeah. Meantime, the slow drift lower as each day that goes by without an announcement suggests the Feds have issues with the deal. Seven months is a long time. Even if we eventually do get the $4, it is clear that those who decided to cut and run at $3.62 or $3.7X late last year made the right call. I will be very happy with $4, to be sure (if it comes), but I won't be feeling good about my decision to hold. Clearly, that was a mistake.
@boul: If you have not yet seen it, head over to EDGAR and read Oaktree's letter to management filed with the SEC today. Here is how it concludes:
Our conclusion is that we are convinced that you and Tribune’s management should engage Gannett immediately and seek to negotiate a transaction in the interest of all Tribune shareholders. We expect you to carry out the fiduciary duty that you owe to all shareholders, and believe that the only possible conclusion consistent with your fiduciary duty is to engage with Gannett with the objective of maximizing value to all Tribune shareholders.
@cob: There may be a new player but I wouldn't consider the poison pill as evidence of that. It would be consistent with seeking a higher price, though. But it would also be consistent with an attempt to kill a deal altogether. I am not certain whether there's a buyer out there that makes sense except for Gannett.
The delay is a PITA, that's for sure. I'm not experienced enough in these matters to know to what extent management normally comments on deals that are a work in progress. But it looks to me like management has little incentive to open its mouth. The deal terms are locked down, it is what it is, and the FTC is going to do its thing. If management tries to sooth investors' nerves and then the deal gets killed they may be open to litigation for (allegedly) misleading investors. And nothing they say is going to matter one way or another to the FTC. So why open your mouth? Better to sit tight and ride it out. Que sera, sera and all that.
@mariya: No offense taken. Your "rant" makes some great points. For the record, by "worthwhile read" I simply meant that, in the news vacuum surrounding the deal, if you have a long interest in the stock, you might want to check it out. A baloney sandwich ain't great dinner but if you haven't eaten in a week it's worthwhile. But all stuff on SA needs to be read skeptically, including SA posts by folks who get some respect in these parts, such as longtimefollower. He, too, talks his book. He doesn't necessarily tell you when he gets out. Unlike the author of the SA article on HTCH, though, longtime addresses his critics. I, too, noted the blocking of the deal on the European company. In fact, when I saw the headline in Marketwatch yesterday or the day before my blood pressure spiked for a few seconds because I thought it was a reference to HTCH. Maybe that did help depress the HTCH price. Surely it didn't help. But I think the Staples deal and the general tendency for the Obama administration to approach these deals as guilty unless proved innocent, along with the delay, is the reason we are trading at $3.5x.
While totally unrelated to the HTCH / TDK deal, I suspect the death of the Staples / Office Depot deal all over the news today is casting a shadow over the HTCH / TDK deal. Which is why we're trading down today. Not that HTCH hasn't traded this low without a reason from the news in the past, of course. One of these mornings we will wake up to discover the FTC has nixed the deal or, whether by announcement or inaction, allowed the deal. Then we trade at $1.50 or $3.95, as the case may be. I believe the deal will still fly but that is just a (biased) feeling and certainly not based on any special knowledge. The new Seeking Alpha article out today told me little I didn't already know but is a worthwhile read for those with a continued interest in the stock.
The fact that the stock price is hanging around the $11.50 mark suggests the market still thinks a GCI deal will happen. I don't think we've seen the last act in this show. The ball is in GCI's court now.
@bio: I think that, in general, the investing world is underestimating the strength, breadth and importance of the healthy eating trend. It is a real mega-trend that is inexorably changing the U.S. food business. Every week brings one or more announcements from the industry heavies. Wal-Mart announces transition to cage-free eggs, Kraft announces removal of artificial stuff from its iconic man and cheese product, etc. etc. Just watch the news. It is every week. WWAV is well positioned to grow with the trend. No, Mr. Market is not as excited about assigning as high a multiple to the stock as it was a year ago. But, fundamentally, nothing has changed.
Yeah. A net worth of $120 million, give or take, that he made himself the hard way by buying and selling stocks makes him a real loser. A strange way to celebrate your alleged KKD gain.
Now we have the TPUB board adopting a poison pill to stave off a GCI takeover. Looks like the TPUB reluctance to dance with GCI is actually more than just a negotiating ploy. Appears they are truly determined to stop the buyout. Stock prices do funny things sometimes but I would be looking for a drop in TPUB today because the market's belief a deal was going to happen is likely the only thing keeping this thing within spitting distance of the buyout offer price.