Well, it didn’t take the Riverbed Board of Directors long to consider the increased offer Paul Singer’s Elliott Management made to them, of US$21 per share to buy all 162 million outstanding shares of Riverbed Technology. This price valued the company at US$3.4 billion. Jewish Business News had reported the latest offer [here].
In a terse, three paragraph, announcement California based Riverbed said it was unanimously determined not to pursue Elliott’s unsolicited proposal. It also said it believed Elliott’s proposal undervalues Riverbed and is therefore not in its shareholders best interests.
Finally, as sort of coup de grace, Riverbed reiterated it would carefully review any credible offer it receives, provided it delivers value in excess of what the company believes it is now creating itself with its own current growth strategy.
Elliott Management were also quick to reply to their latest rejection, saying, “Riverbed’s board has again failed shareholders, ” … “By rejecting our offer of US$21 per share without so much as a discussion, and by refusing to grant Elliott and other interested buyers access to diligence, Riverbed’s board has clearly chosen entrenchment over shareholder value.”
It remains to be seen whether Paul Singer will stoke these embers further, with a higher bid now, or let things pass. With only one seat on the Riverbed up for election this year it may not be an easy task to dislodge them for a while yet with an Elliott slate.
On the other hand rejection is all part of the activist game and he and his team are obviously pretty thick skinned, so it is not out of the question for them to go further if they think the company is worth it – and that would also be something of a back handed compliment to Riverbed too, actually, if they do.
Riverbed is a leading company in application performance infrastructure equipment with annual revenues of over US$1 billion. The company has over 25, 000 customers, which include 97% of the Fortune 100 and 95% of the Forbes Global 100.