Two days ago, the German automaker’s deal to acquire the American truck maker appeared to be on the rocks. Volkswagen had sent Navistar a letter warning it to essentially put up or shut up — quit complaining about the price and accept the $43-a-share bid offered by Volkswagen subsidiary Traton by the Oct. 16 deadline, or see Traton withdraw the offer.
Today, Navistar sent a letter to Traton in response, saying that it’s prepared to accept an offer of $44.50 per share for all of its shares outstanding.
If you recall, the problem Wednesday was that big Navistar shareholders Carl Icahn and MHR Fund Management wanted to hold out for a $50 to $70 buyout price. Navistar’s letter to Traton now indicates, however, that these “two largest shareholders” are on board with a much lower $44.50 buyout price.
That sounds like bad news for other shareholders, who may have been holding out for a higher price. But after watching Navistar’s stock price plunge on the prospect that they might get no buyout price at all, today’s news must come as a relief.
Now, it looks like the international merger is going full speed ahead, and Bloomberg reports that all parties are “nearing an agreement to acquire the rest of Navistar International Corp. for $3.69 billion” total at the $44.50 price.
Navistar stock has recovered almost all of its losses of earlier this week and was at $42.85 in morning trading.