Thursday, August 16, 2007

Credit Squeeze Making Activists Back Off Merger Opposition

In an amended 13D filing on Acxiom Corp. (Nasdaq: ACXM), large holder MMI Investments said it has determined not to solicit proxies in opposition of the Proposed Merger of the company with Silver Lake and ValueAct Capital, for cash consideration of $27.10 per share. MMI said it has reassessed the Proposed Merger in view of the substantial and unanticipated deterioration in conditions within the equity and debt markets.

Acxiom is currently selling at $22.40, well below the $27.10 acquisition price.

MMI Investments said it reserves the right to pursue its nominations for election as directors at the Issuer's 2007 Annual Meeting of Shareholders if the Proposed Merger is not consummated.

William Ackman's Pershing Square Capital made a similar move related to his opposition of the takeover of Ceridian Corporation (NYSE: CEN) by Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. and Fidelity National Financial. On Friday, Pershing Square said it would support the deal citing concerns in the credit markets.

Ceridian is trading at $31.68, well below the deal price of $36.

Pershing Square said it would continue to pursue its previously announced proxy contest to replace the board, citing on-going concerns regarding credit and broader markets as well as the buyout group's walk-away right if it chooses to pay a $165 million break-up fee.

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