Duff & Phelps Corp. (NYSE: DUF), a New York City-based provider of independent financial advisory and investment banking services, announced over the weekend that it signed a definitive merger agreement under which a private investor consortium will acquire the company for $15.55 per share in cash.
The consortium includes affiliates of or funds managed by The Carlyle Group, Stone Point Capital LLC, Pictet & Cie and Edmond de Rothschild Group. The transaction has been valued at approximately $665.5 million and represents a premium of 19.2% over DUF shares closing price on December 28, 2012.
Noah Gottdiener, CEO of Duff & Phelps, said that DUF Board of Directors, acting on advice from the company’s legal and financial advisors, agrees that the transaction is in the best interest of the company’s stockholders, who will receive an immediate and certain cash premium for their shares.
Olivier Sarkozy, Managing Director and head of Carlyle’s Global Financial Services group, said that regulatory demands, implementation of new accounting policies and requirements for increased corporate disclosure and third party validation provide significant growth opportunities for DUF’s core products and services.
The merger agreement includes a “go-shop” period starting immediately and ending on February 8, 2013. During this period, DUF will actively solicit and potentially receive, evaluate and enter into negotiations with third parties that offer alternative transaction proposals.
Duff & Phelps shares risen sharply in trading on Friday. The stock ended the day 1.87% higher at $13.05 on above average volume of 165,502. Year-to-date, DUF shares have fallen 10%, compared to a gain of 11.51% for the S&P 500.