Investor Unhappy With Titan “Merger” Plans
(Akron/Tire Review) Activist hedge fund Jana Partners has taken a strong stance against the proposed “merger” between Titan International and One Equity Partners. Calling it a move to take Titan private, Jana Partners said the $18 per share offer made by One Equity Partners was “well below the true value of the company.”
Jana Partners made its opposition known in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Attached to the filing was a letter from Jana Partners to Titan CEO Morry Taylor from Jana founder Barry Rosenstein stating that Jana raised its stake in the tyre and wheel maker to protect its investment and block the acquisition.
Rosenstein criticised the proposed price and Titan’s negotiating process, saying the company failed to describe the steps it is taking “to ensure a full and open biding process” for itself.
Among other things, Rosenstein says the offer price doesn’t reflect the value of Titan’s acquisition of the Goodyear agricultural tyre business, which has still not been settled.
Meanwhile, Titan amended its credit line with LaSalle Bank National Association, increasing its revolving line from $100 million to $200 million. According to Titan’s SEC filing, the loan increase can only be used for the planned acquisition of Goodyear’s ag tyre business or “other lender approved acquisitions.”