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Rating:Janus Insiders: Move Along, No Story Here Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, November 14, 2005

Janus Insiders: Move Along, No Story Here

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Ignore all that talk about Janus buying Amvescap. For that matter, don't listen to those that are saying Janus is for sale, either. You see, executives at the Denver-based firm are quietly trying to put the kibosh on the scuttlebutt that it will soon be on one side or another of a deal reports an industry paper.

InvestmentNews reported on the talk on Monday, adding that sources at Janus and others "close to the company" insist that the merger talk is "made up."

The rumors had started after a Janus independent director resigned and expressed discomfort with the fund firm's planned course that includes an unexplained "strategic option." Wall Street traders tried reading between the lines of the scant news and started the rumors of a deal while bidding up the price of Janus shares some 28 percent since September.

Don't trust everything you hear (or read), though.

"There is absolutely nothing going on," the trade paper quoted one unnamed Janus executive as telling it. "This company is absolutely intent on remaining independent."

That insider was also back up by Janus Chairman and CEO Steve Scheid who flatly stated that "the company is not for sale" during the firm's third-quarter earnings call with analysts.

So, if Janus is not a seller, is it a buyer?

Last week traders in London noticed Amvescap's hiring of former Janus CFO took the same post at Amvescap and added two and two to get an Amvescap-Janus merger. However, Amvescap officials are frowning on all of the speculative talk.

"This is an unsourced market rumor first reported by one wire service over a week ago and now repeated indiscriminately by others without any further substantiation," said Doug Kidd, a Janus spokesperson on Thursday, according to InvestmentNews. Kidd did not give an outright denial of the rumor, though, and instead stuck with the standard "we never respond to hypotheticals" line.

InvestmentNews also points to a recent sale by Lance Rowland, an inside director at Janus, as evidence that no deal is in the work. As an insider, Rowland would risk running afoul of insider-trading laws if he new of a deal, the paper posits. Last week, Rowland disclosed the sale of more than 430,000 Janus shares between October 1 and November 7 in an SEC filing.  

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