NEWS19 October 2009

Cossette reveals interest from ‘several’ potential buyers

M&A North America

CANADA— Marketing services group Cossette has told shareholders that it has received “several” written expressions of interest from potential buyers after launching a strategic review to find new owners earlier this year.

The firm instructed its financial advisors to solicit proposals from potential buyers in August after turning down a “highly opportunistic” bid from former vice chairman François Duffar (pictured) in July.

Cossette refused to open its books to Duffar’s investment vehicle Cosmos Capital, citing an “unfair imbalance of knowledge” due to Duffar’s prior involvement in the business.

The group said that, from the expressions of interest it has received so far, “certain potential acquirers” have been invited to participate in the second phase of the strategic review, where they will be able to conduct due dilligence, attend management presentations and submit definitive proposals.

The marketing services group said it expected final offers from interested parties to be received “in the coming weeks”, although it told shareholders there was no assurance that any bid would be recommended by the board of directors.