First there was a postponed court date with the banks, then stories breaking out all over that a settlement has been reached to the effect that the banks will finance the deal to take the company private at $36/share, rather than the $39.20/share that’s been on the table since last spring. The company’s stock price has been climbing thought the low $30s. One report said it edged past $35 at one point.
The New York trial, brought by principal buyers THL Partners and Bain Capital, is scheduled to pick up this morning. In fact, on announcing the postponement yesterday, Judge Helen Freedman even invited attorneys to leave their laptops and document files in the courtroom.
But the deal principals and the banks were said to have been in talks over the weekend, hoping to avoid the uncertainties of a resolution arrived at in court.
The banks involved include Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Deutsche Bank and Wachovia Corp.
RBR/TVBR observation: Is it possible this ordeal is about to come to a conclusion? All we know is that the sidelines have been full of armchair quarterbacks with megaphones, all making predictions and picking winners and losers. If nothing else, we may soon be able to see who the winners and losers are among the winner/loser identifiers. We can’t wait. But as for us, we’ll believe this is a done deal when it’s a done deal and not one moment earlier. We’ve seen the goalposts move too many times already to be surprised if it happens again.