October 14, 2007
Topps issued the following press release on Friday:
The Topps Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: TOPP) today announced the closing of the acquisition of Topps by Michael Eisner's The Tornante Company LLC and Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC. Under the terms of the agreement, Topps stockholders will receive $9.75 in cash for each share of Topps common stock held, for a total aggregate purchase price of approximately $385 million payable to stockholders.
"This is a great day for Topps and its shareholders," said Arthur T. Shorin, Chief Executive Officer of Topps. "This transaction provides our former investors with full value for their shares and ensures the further success of our iconic company."
Topps President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Silverstein added, "We are pleased to have an experienced and talented group of investors who are committed to growing our company and to delivering added value to our partners, the people who enjoy our products every day, and our terrific team of employees whose efforts have made this transaction possible."
"Topps is a wonderful company with a rich history and a strong brand portfolio. We look forward to working with the company's outstanding management and employees to grow Topps in new and innovative ways," Eisner said on behalf of the investors.
Given the way the Topps board manipulated the takeover process and spurned a higher offer from Upper Deck, both over vociferous shareholder objections, I'm not sure how great a day it was for Topps' shareholders. They have now lost out on the potential upside Eisner et al. have purchased. Eisner wins again for now.
There was also no mention in the above release of the final number of dissenting shareholders, but it must have been below the 15% condition set in the merger agreement. Still, Crescendo Partners has delivered to Topps a written demand for the appraisal of 2,684,700 shares of Topps common stock (or approximately 6.9% of the total number of outstanding shares of Topps common stock). In a nice maneuver, they will not get to negotiate for a higher price outside the takeover process.
Despite the loss of Topps as a public company we will still have a Delaware decision (In re Topps Shareholders Litigation, 2007 WL 1732586 (Del.Ch. June 14, 2007)) and a great case study in how not to run a takeover process. Sayanora Topps. For my prior posts on the Topps deal see the following:
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