Pershing Squares’ Ackman Satisfied, Ceridian to be Acquired

September 8th, 2007
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Fidelity National Financial Inc. and Thomas H. Lee Partners will finally be able to acquire Ceridian Corporation for roughly $5.3 billion, or $36.00 per share. A definitive agreement was reached after Ceridian worked out its problems with Pershing Squares’ William Ackman. Ackman had been pushing Ceridian to spin off its Comdata division and replace its board. He at first opposed the buyout, but threw his support behind it on Aug. 14 after deteriorating credit market conditions ended any realistic prospect that Ceridian could fetch a higher competing bid.

Pershing Square, which holds 14.9% of shares at Ceridian, was originally opposed to the buyout claiming that the company was being undervalued. Ackman stated that a $36.00 per share buyout was not enough and that shareholders could get a better deal. Ackman hired investment bank Lazard, along with a law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, to find other prospective bidders.

However, on August 14th after worsening market conditions made the prospect of finding a higher bidder very unlikely, Ackman put his support behind the $36.00 per share deal. Despite supporting the deal, Ackman still refused to let it go through unless he got his nominees to the board of directors appointed. Ackman was able to get four of his nominees on the board at Ceridian. The new members will be added to the board at the September 12th annual meeting. Ackman said, “we are delighted to have brought this situation to an amicable conclusion, and look forward to a prompt closing of the merger. In the interim, we are confident that our designees to Ceridian's board will serve the company well.”
For Detailed Investor Profiles on these Investors, click below:
Pershing Square Capital Management
Related People: Nicholas Botta; Roy J. Katzovicz; Scott Ferguson*; William 'Bill' Ackman
Related Entities: Leucadia Corporation (NYSE: LUK); Pershing Square Capital; Pershing Square IV; Pershing Square LP
Related Article Tags: Shareholder Activists, Corporate Raiders and Proxy Battles

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