The Perry Ellis International Inc.’s Special Committee essentially said it’s not going to be pushed into making a decision it is not ready to make, and none has been made yet on the offer made by former chairman George Feldenkreis in connection with his bid to buy the company.
The response was directed to a letter Feldenkreis sent on Wednesday indicating that he wanted the parties to agree to a specific time frame for when negotiations would conclude and a decision made. He proposed May 29, after which he could withdraw his offer. Feldenkreis also noted that the process has been extended to almost four months. He also said that he has negotiated with the Committee in good faith, but that the same courtesy has not been shown to him.
In Thursday’s response, Perry Ellis said, “As part of its strategic review process, the Special Committee continues to engage in good faith with George Feldenkreis to see if a transaction that maximizes shareholder value can be achieved. The Special Committee is disappointed that rather than moving forward with constructive negotiations, Mr. Feldenkreis continues to mischaracterize the status of negotiations.” The statement also said the Committee is conducting a bona fide process and stands “prepared and ready to enter into a definitive agreement on customary and appropriate terms.”
The company also issued its cautionary statement that there is no assurance Feldenkreis’ proposal would result in a definitive offer, or that either the proposal or any other transaction would be approved.
Feldenkreis in February offered to buy shares of Perry Ellis, at $27.50 a share, that he doesn’t beneficially own. Since then, the former chairman noted that due diligence is complete and that the financing is in place. Just last week, the former chairman proposed a board slate for election to the company’s board at the next annual shareholders’ meeting. The company hasn’t yet held this year’s meeting, and it still needs to determine a day and time for that meeting.