Mitel Networks efforts to acquire Inter-Tel took another odd twist last week with the sudden cancellation of a special shareholders meeting that was being asked to approve the $723-million deal.
Inter-Tel chairman Alexander Cappello said shareholders needed more time to consider a number of recent developments including the filing of detailed financial documents earlier this week by Steven Mihaylo — who has been leading the fight to oppose the acquisition offer from Ottawa-based Mitel.
A new date of 23 July has been set for the vote to take place.
Mihaylo, founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Inter-Tel expressed dismay at the Board’s decision to postpone the Special Meeting to vote on the buyout by Mitel.
“I am confident that shareholders have had sufficient time to evaluate their investment in order to determine the course of action that would most maximize their returns, and should have been allowed to express their wishes today. I urge shareholders to demand that the Board cease these delay tactics and accept the voice of the shareholders.”
With respect to the specific reasons given by Inter-Tel for postponement, Mr. Mihaylo stated: “I have obtained over $250 million of committed financing for my recapitalization alternative and have confirmed this morning with RBC Capital Markets, my financing source, that the current events in the debt markets will not impede the execution of their committed financing. In addition, shareholders have had over two months to evaluate the Mitel deal and should be allowed to express their views without further delay. As for changes in the shareholder base since the Mitel merger announcement, that would seem to be true in almost every publicly announced transaction and should not be a reason for avoiding the wishes of shareholders.”
Mihaylo went on to say that it is time for Inter-Tel to move forward and refocus on growth and stockholder value. “I believe the Board ran a flawed process that may have elicited a higher bid and that we, as shareholders, deserve more. I urge stockholders who have already voted against the merger to remain resolute and join me in pursuing a path forward for the Company.”