ACS Chairman Increases Buyout Offer For The Company - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

ACS Chairman Increases Buyout Offer For The Company

The original offer valued the company at $5.9 billion; the revised bid now values it at $6.1 billion.

Outsourcer Affiliated Computer Services said late Monday that it received an enhanced buyout offer from company chairman Darwin Deason and a private equity firm.

ACS said that Deason and Cerberus Capital Management are now offering to buy all outstanding shares of the company for $62 per share. Last month, Deason and Cerberus floated an offer buy ACS for $59.25 per share, or $5.9 billion in total. The revised bid now values the company at $6.1 billion.

At least two shareholder groups immediately filed suit to block the sale after Deason and Cerberus made their original offer -- claiming the price was too low.

Despite the increased offer, ACS said in a statement that its board "continues to have concerns about the Deason/Cerberus proposal."

Among other things, the board said it's worried about Deason's statement that he plans to "continue as chairman for at least the next five years" regardless of whether the sale goes through. Members of a special board committee evaluating the offer said they're concerned that the pledge could dissuade other potential buyers from bidding on ACS.

Taking ACS private would allow Deason to escape the Securities and Exchange Commission's spotlight.

In recent months, regulators have focused on ACS's handling of executive stock options. In November, ACS CEO Mark King and CFO Warren Edwards stepped down after the company conceded that their options had been improperly backdated.

Last year, Canadian prosecutors in Alberta charged ACS with bribing police officers there to secure help winning a contract to provide the province with photo radar traffic enforcement systems. Two Canadian police officers also were charged.

Questions have also been raised about a deal under which ACS leased a corporate jet from a leasing company owned by Deason.

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