The battle for Perry Ellis International might be heating up again.
On Thursday, Water Island Capital disclosed a 5.5 percent ownership stake in the company and in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing said it “does not believe that the merger consideration” by Feldenkreis Holdings LLC “represents fair value to the Issuer’s shareholders.” It went on to say that it is “considering various options and remedies to maximize the value of its shares in connection with the merger.”
As reported, in mid-August, the Perry Ellis Special Committee ended discussions with Randa Accessories which had submitted a higher $444 million offer for the company and reiterated a commitment to a $437 million transaction it inked with former chief executive officer George Feldenkreis to take the company private. Randa had offered $28.90 a share to Feldenkreis’ $27.50.
The special committee said the decision was a response to news that an inbound licensor would not approve a change in control of the license to Randa should it buy the company. It said the inbound licensor was the company’s largest, leaving speculation that it was Nike Inc., which has a business with Perry Ellis valued at more than $100 million.
Randa’s expertise is in accessories while Perry Ellis manufactures primarily apparel.
Water Island Capital could not be reached for comment on what steps it is prepared to take and Perry Ellis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.