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Rating:Another Janus Story, This Time it is an LBO Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Another Janus Story, This Time it is an LBO

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Fortune Magazine may be throwing more light on what caused a Janus board member to resign suddenly earlier this year. At the time, the speculation on Wall Street was that trustee Robert Burt disapproved of plans to sell the firm or buy another firm (rumors pegged Amvescap as the partner). The new report suggests that the Wall Street rumors mill was wide of the mark.

The real deal, reports Bethany McLean in her article, was to have been a management led buyout of the firm. Such a deal makes a lot of sense considering that Janus' portfolio managers have earned a reputation for being hard to manage. If they owned the company, their egos would presumably be sated.

Ironically, the Wall Street circulated rumors may have cratered the deal, meaning the Burt's resignation may have stopped the very plans he was so worried about.

The one fact reported by McLean is that Janus hired Morgan Stanley last summer to explore a deal (though that fact came from an anonymous source). In addition, a Janus spokeswoman declined to discuss the matter with Fortune, and instead provided the usual "We don't comment on rumor and speculation."

McLean writes that when Morgan Stanley was hired Janus' shares traded at around $15 per share and that Janus' management was willing to pay as much as $17 to purchase the company.

Once word hit the street that Janus was possibly in play, though, the price spiked to as much as $20 per share.

That is more than Janus insiders are willing to pay, reports McLean. It looks like those Denver shoppers will be looking for other ways to spend their money this Christmas.  

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