Asyst ends Aquest takeover talks

Oct. 12, 2008 – Citing a lack of action on the part of its suitor, Asyst Technologies says it has ended talks over a potential takeover announced earlier this summer involving Aquest and former founder Mihir Parikh.

This summer Asyst revealed that it had secretly received and turned down buyout attempts from Gores Group, which came back to the table with a $6.50/share proposal that also included Aquest Systems and former Asyst founder Mihir Parikh, in a public offer designed to appeal directly to shareholders. (As Marketwatch notes, that 66% premium looks a lot better these days; like many other stocks, Asyst’s has plunged, now down to $1.19.)

“Our board fully supported the engagement with Aquest,” stated Asyst chairman and CEO. Talks in August ramped up to “significant financial and operating due diligence,” with a promise from Aquest to submit a nonbinding proposal by Sept. 12, later extended to Sept. 26, Asyst claims in yet another open letter. “However, we understand that you have not been able to assemble and identify a specific purchasing group, transaction structure and funding sources, and that you are unable to submit a proposal.”

Asyst closed the letter, though, indicating it is still “open at any time” to review any “credible” proposal judged to enhance shareholder value.

Earlier this year Asyst indicated it was also the target of another buyout offer, from hedge fund Riley Investment Partners Master Fund.


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