New York-based investment bank Duff & Phelps (NYSE:DUF) agreed this weekend to be scooped up for $665 million by a consortium of private equity firms that includes the Carlyle Group (NYSE:CG).
At $15.55 a share in cash, the transaction represents a premium of 19.2% to the closing price of Duff & Phelps’ shares on Friday. The other buyers include Stone Point Capital, Pictet & Cie and Edmond de Rothschild Group.
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The company will retain its brand and all senior management has agreed to remain on board following the deal’s consummation. No single member of the consortium is expected to own more than 35% of the company.
Duff & Phelps CEO Noah Gottdiener said the acquisition is in the best interest of shareholders and is structured so as to “preserve the firm’s independence."
The deal, which has already been approved by Duff & Phelps' board of directors, is expected to close in the first half of 2013 pending customary closing conditions and approval from regulators and shareholders.
Duff & Phelps has now entered a so-called “go-shop” period through Feb. 8 that enables it to actively solicit and evaluate third party bids. Should it choose to opt out of the deal, it will be on the hook for a $6.65 million a breakup fee.