Tuesday, September 18, 2007

But Beckett Has Them at $425 Million (MT only!)

Topps shareholders are urged to reject the latest $375 million buyout offer:

Tornante Co, run by Michael Eisner, former chief executive of Walt Disney Co. and buyout firm Madison Dearborn said in a statement that the price was "more than a full and fair price" for the baseball card company.

"If Topps shareholders feel differently and vote against our deal this week, we wish them well, but our price is final and we will not increase it," the investor group added.

Shareholders are due to vote on the deal on Wednesday. A number of proxy advisory firms have advised investors to vote down the deal, including Proxy Governance Inc, which argued the deal did not appear to place a fair value on Topps.

Seems the difference in value comes down to the existence of gum stains and some worn corners on the stock certificates. None of this would have been an issue if someone at Topps had remembered the hard lessons of 1971 and not used black borders. Sources close to the transaction opine that a deal may still be reached, however, if Torante and Madison Dearborn are willing to throw in a stack of commons that would fulfill many of the outstanding items on the shareholders' want-lists.

(LaCock goodness stolen from Josh Wilker, and will be removed if he deigns it so)

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