Reuters reported that hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, which owns 14.9% of Ceridian, is disappointed by the proposed takeover price and has hired investment bank Lazard Freres & Co. and law firm Sullivan & Cromwell to find an alternative to the current plan. The $5.3 billion takeover bid offered shareholders $36 per share (See Ceridian to Go Private in Acquisition).
“We do not support a sale of the company at this low price,” Pershing’s founder, William Ackman, wrote to Ceridian shareholders, according to Reuters. “It appears to us that the current deal is an ill-suited response to our proxy contest, and is suboptimal for Ceridian stockholders.” Ackman also has added 900,000 shares to his position in Ceridian in recent days.
Pershing has been pushing for Ceridian to replace its board with independent directors and split off its credit card payment processing division, Comdata, from its human resources division.