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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The OCC Letter

Here it is.  No proposed agreements though. 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/mergers/2008/02/the-occ-letter.html

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Alliance Data Suit Against Blackstone Is Dismissed (Update3)

By Jason Kelly and Phil Milford

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Alliance Data Systems Corp. dropped its lawsuit against Blackstone Group LP, saying the New York- based leveraged buyout firm will try to complete its $6.6 billion takeover of the credit-card processor.

Alliance Data sued Blackstone Jan. 30, claiming the firm was using regulatory obstacles as an excuse to back out of its acquisition of the Dallas-based company. Blackstone said conditions required by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency prevented completion of the deal.

The lawsuit was ``voluntarily dismissed'' by Alliance Data, according to a notice filed today in Delaware Chancery Court. Blackstone, subsequent to the Alliance lawsuit, has shown in communications with regulators and court filings that it's willing to close the purchase, Alliance Data said in a statement.

``We are pleased that Blackstone is now interested in exploring some alternatives to satisfy the closing conditions,'' Alliance Data spokeswoman Shelley Whiddon said in an interview.

Alliance Data rose $4.01, or 7.8 percent, at 12:28 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock closed yesterday at $51.46, 37 percent below Blackstone's $81.75-a-share purchase price.

Blackstone, manager of the world's largest buyout fund, said in an e-mailed statement today it ``remains committed to finding a way to consummate a transaction.'' That echoed comments the firm's president Tony James made on Jan. 30.

Alliance Data sought to frame Blackstone's argument as an excuse to walk away from the deal amid less favorable conditions for financing leveraged buyouts. Purchases of SLM Corp., better known as Sallie Mae, and Harman International Industries Inc. collapsed amid higher borrowing costs and a faltering U.S. economy.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jason Kelly in New York at jkelly14@bloomberg.net ; Phil Milford in Wilmington, Delaware, at pmilford@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: February 8, 2008 12:42 EST

Posted by: Camilo Wittica | Feb 8, 2008 10:35:54 AM

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