Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Rejection of Maxwell Offer Urged by Macmillan Board

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Rejection of Maxwell Offer Urged by Macmillan Board

Article excerpt

NEW YORK (AP) - Macmillan Inc.'s board urged shareholders Wednesday to reject a $2.51 billion tender offer from British publisher Robert Maxwell, setting the stage for a court showdown over the conduct of the bidding for the publishing giant.

Macmillan previously agreed to a slightly lower, $2.5 billion buyout proposal from a group led by the investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and including Macmillan senior management.

Its rejection of Maxwell's latest offer came as no surprise.

Macmillan stock rose 25 cents a share to $88.62 1/2 in consolidated New York Stock Exchange trading. That was slightly below Kohlberg's latest offer of $90.05 in cash and securities for each of Macmillan's 27.8 million shares. Maxwell's latest offer was $90.25 a share in cash.

``I don't think the rejection makes much difference,'' said J. Kendrick Noble, a media analyst for the investment firm PaineWebber Inc. ``A recommendation from the board can't stop an alternative bid.''

Maxwell's tender offer is set to expire Oct. 13, while Kohlberg's offer expires 24 hours later. Noble said that ``the key issue now is in the courts.''

Maxwell already filed suit in Chancery Court in Delaware, charging that the bidding process was unfairly skewed in favor of the management bid. A hearing on the complaint was scheduled for Monday. …

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