Remember Michael Eisner, who ruled Disney for many profitable, synergistic years? What’s he up to these days? Well, it looks like he really likes bubble gum. His investment company The Tornante Group has made a bid to acquire Topps for $385 million, ICv2 reports. Topps, of course famously makes candy, bubble gum and a little item called baseball cards. Sounds like kid stuff, but shareholders think $385 mil may not be enough.
Meanwhile, the hedge fund operators who have been unhappy with the performance of the company and won three seats on the board of directors after a lengthy squabble with Topps management (see “Topps Reaches Settlement With Hedgers”) are not pleased with the terms of the acquisition. All three hedgers on the board, Arnaud Ajdler of Crescendo Partners, Timothy Brog of Pembridge Capital Management, and John Jones, voted against the deal. Ajdler wrote a letter to members of the board complaining “that the process that led to the signing of the merger agreement was flawed in that the board of directors did not shop the company and thus failed to maximize the competitive dynamics of a sale transaction that would have garnered the highest price available.” At least some investors think that Topps may eventually sell for a higher figure — the stock closed Tuesday at $9.81, six cents higher than the buyout price.
Much more in the link.