With CEO Jeff Smulyan shooting for August 3rd as the date to wrap up shareholder votes and the tender offers for him to take Emmis Communications private, the multiple lawsuits seeking to block the transaction are also moving quickly.
Five of the seven class action shareholder lawsuits have been consolidated into one, those being the first five of the six cases filed in an Indiana state court in Indianapolis (Marion County), where Emmis is headquartered. Not included are one state court case filed after the others and a separate case filed in the US District Court in Indianapolis.
For the five consolidated cases, now called “In re: Emmis Shareholder Litigation,” depositions were taken June 30th on the motion by Emmis, Smulyan, Alden Global Capital and other defendants to dismiss the legal action. The plaintiffs served their memorandum of law in support of their motion for a preliminary injunction to block the going private transaction on the defendants on July 3rd. Under the agreed-to schedule, the defendants’ response is due July 10th and the plaintiffs’ reply is due July 14th. All of that would be in plenty of time for the judge to rule before August 3rd.
If the ruling is in favor of the defendants and the cases are dismissed (and no contrary action is taken in the other two cases) it should be smooth sailing for Smulyan to take Emmis private immediately after the tenders close and the votes are taken on August 3rd. Of course, if the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, all bets are off.
As for the ongoing tender by Smulyan to buy out other shareholders for $2.40 per share, only 181 additional shares have been tendered since the report on June 30th. That brings the tally as of July 2nd to 1,335,282 – with another 28 million plus to go.