Quick to offer, slow to vote

Contact: Brenon Daly

Even with the recent flurry of deal announcements, the pace of actually getting those proposed transactions in front of shareholders hasn’t necessarily followed suit. On Monday, a pair of buyers of public companies said they wouldn’t be holding votes on the proposed acquisitions, which were both announced in mid-April, until mid-July. To be sure, the anticipated three-month gap between announcing the transactions and shareholders voting on them isn’t alarmingly long. But it does continue the rather drawn-out dealmaking process that we’ve seen since the credit crisis tore apart Wall Street.

In the larger of the two announcements, Oracle said Sun Microsystems shareholders will have the opportunity to sound off on the planned $7.4bn deal on July 16. That is almost two weeks longer than it took to close its slightly larger purchase of BEA Systems last year. And if, as expected, Sun shareholders agree to the pending acquisition and Oracle closes it immediately, the time from announcement to closing would be roughly twice as long as the time for its multibillion-dollar purchase of Hyperion Solutions as well as its smaller acquisition of Stellent.

Meanwhile, Thoma Bravo, which plans to pick up Entrust, originally intended to put its $114m offer before shareholders on Monday. Instead, they will vote on the deal July 10. The delay comes despite not a single superior bid surfacing for the security company during its ‘go-shop’ period. The target said it shopped itself to 35 other potential suitors from mid-April to mid-May, but received only three non-binding offers. Entrust’s board didn’t judge any of them ‘superior’ to Thoma Bravo’s original offer. Shareholders will have their say on that in a month.