Hostile deals – and there are a few going on – have one unintended consequence: too many press releases.
Every side feels compelled to correct a rival’s spin as things heat up, which means almost every press statement has an equal and opposite reaction.
In Bermuda, a three-way battle between IPC, Validus and Max Capital flooded the wires for weeks with innumerable press releases, as each side tried to make a case for why their deal was better. (Shareholders voted down an IPC-Max deal, but the fight is not over yet.)
Sometimes the new point is, well, a rather fine point.
Consider this statement put out by Agrium, which is battling to take over rival CF.
Mike Wilson, Agrium’s CEO:
“Following a successful stockholder referendum on Agrium’s offer and after we reached out to CF and its advisors, CF’s Chairman and CEO Steve Wilson told me that CF would not meet with Agrium. Contradicting recent public comments that CF is prepared to engage, he stated to me that ‘there is no reason to meet because nothing has changed.’ Steve Wilson said he called since stockholders wanted him to engage with Agrium. I do not consider returning my phone calls to say that CF refuses to meet to be engagement and I don’t think CF stockholders will either.”