KNIGHTSBRIDGE HIKES ITS BID ON FREDERICK’S
Byline: Karyn Monget
NEW YORK — Knightsbridge Capital Corp. — which signed a letter of intent to acquire Frederick’s of Hollywood last June — hiked its bid Monday to $7.75 a share from $6.90 a share.
The offer matched a bid made late last month by Veritas Capital Inc., a merchant banking and private equity investment firm here.
With the increase, Frederick’s said its board reconfirmed its approval of a deal with Knightsbridge. Frederick’s noted the Veritas bid was “unsolicited.”
Additionally, Frederick’s said its board “terminated its ability to consider any other past, present or future offer.”
It further said that stockholders “will have the right to consent, indicate opposition to the merger or revoke a previously delivered consent at any time prior to the effective time of the merger.”
Frederick’s did not specifically name the unsolicited bidder.
However, Robert B. McKeon, president of Veritas, confirmed to WWD on Friday that it had offered $7.75, as reported.
At $7.75, the acquisition of approximately 8.5 million outstanding shares of Frederick’s will cost about $65.9 million.
Frederick’s of Hollywood stock was not traded Monday, because of the pending announcement.
On Friday, it closed at 6 7/8 on the New York Stock Exchange.
As to whether Veritas would continue to pursue Frederick’s, Tom Campbell, a partner in Veritas, said Monday: “I just can’t comment right now.”
A spokesman for Frederick’s said an “actual date” had not been determined to close the deal with Knightsbridge Capital.
Frederick’s, known for its provocative lingerie merchandise, has been on the block since a year ago.
During that period, it announced that it, as well as the trusts set up by its founder, the late Frederick Mellinger, had hired Janney Montgomery Scott as a financial adviser to enhance shareholder value.
At the time, the company said the Mellinger estate needed cash to pay an estimated $11 million to $12 million in federal taxes.