NEWS18 August 2009

Cossette looking for alternative takeover options

M&A News North America

CANADA— Marketing services group Cossette has dismissed a takeover proposal from former vice chairman François Duffar and has instructed its financial advisers to solicit proposals from other parties.

The firm said that Duffar’s “highly opportunistic” proposal is “highly conditional, undervalues Cossette and is financially inadequate”. As a result, financial advisers BMO Capital Markets have been told to seek out other potential offers that reflect “the full and fair value of Cossette”.

Duffar (pictured), who was also a co-founder of the group, launched a C$4.95 per share bid to acquire Cossette in July through his Cosmos Group. Earlier this month the Cossette board asked shareholders to hold fire on responding to the bid while a special committee and the group’s financial and legal advisers examined the proposal.

Claude Lessard, Cossette’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Pierre Delagrave, president of Cossette Media and Fjord Interactive Marketing and Technology, and myself, both founding partners of the company, are fully aligned with the special committee’s and the board’s decision to solicit proposals to acquire the company to maximise value for all shareholders. We will cooperate with the board and the special committee to successfully implement a board-supported transaction. We are confident that this exercise will be accomplished with the highest regard for Cossette’s traditional values and in harmony with the best interests of our two key assets, our employees and clients.”