Asyst, former owner confirm buyout rebuff rumors

Feb. 25, 2008 – Word had spread among analysts that Asyst Technologies had turned down an unsolicited bid to take the company private — and now the prospective suitor is bringing the offer out in the open.

Last week a Bloomberg report (cited by Barrons blogger Eric Savitz) noted that the company had rejected two previous attempts by private equity firm Gores Group, which allegedly offered to pay up to $6/share for the company (well more than a 100% premium on ASYT shares, at the time).

Today Gores and automation systems firm Aquest Systems — including the founder/former CEO of Asyst, Mihir Parikh — publicly broadcasted a letter to Asyst shareholders so that the recipients “are aware of the proposal and are in a position to evaluate the potential benefits” of the proposed transaction, which could go as high as $5-$6/share, making the deal worth roughly $300M based on Asyst’s total shares outstanding.

The letter confirms that talks over a previous proposal had broken off as recently as Jan. 8. “The Investor Group believes that the combination of Aquest’s intimate knowledge of the business and the industry in general and Gores’ expertise in creating value through operational involvement would create a transaction that will be beneficial to the Company and its shareholders, management and employees.”


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