A group of private equity firms, including The Carlyle Group L.P. (NASDAQ: CG), announced yesterday that the consortium would acquire investment advising and banking firm Duff & Phelps Corp. (NYSE: DUF) for $15.55 a share, or a total of $665.5 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013.
The offer represents a 19.2% premium over the stock’s closing price on Friday and 27.3% over the its 30-day volume weighted average share price. The merger agreement includes a “go-shop” period beginning immediately and ending on February 8, during which the bank “will actively solicit and potentially receive, evaluate and enter into negotiations with third parties that offer alternative transaction proposals.” The agreement provides for a breakup fee of $6.65 million in the event Duff & Phelps cancels the deal before March 8.
Shares of Duff & Phelps are up 18.5% at $15.47 in premarket trading this morning, in a 52-week range of $11.36 to $16.50. Shares of Carlyle Group are inactive, having closed at $25.85 on Friday, in a post-IPO range of $20.00 to $27.90.