Willamette Shows Some Interest
"We look forward to hearing from you when you come to a more realistic view as to a fair value for Willamette."
The following day Rogel penned another reply, refuting the degree of the synergistic claims by Swindells and McDougall. The October 16 deadline came and went, with no indication of anything more than prolonged rhetoric from both sides.
Weyerhaeuser then promptly extended its now-year-long hostile tender offer of $50 per share for Willamette. It was the seventh time in which the offer has been extended, with the most recent reoffering set to expire at midnight on December 5. Undoubtedly, Weyerhaeuser will ring in the new year by extending the offer for an eighth time should Willamette remain unfazed, which will likely be the case.
Weyerhaeuser's reluctance to bid against itself prior to a face-to-face meeting—despite the fact it is offering to pay more—represents a complementary gridlock to Willamette's refusal to sit down until it has an offer in the high $50s. The stall-ball tactics appear to be harming both sides.
Paul Latta, an analyst with McAdams Wright Ragen in Seattle, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that he was surprised at the "harshly worded letter" from Rogel, considering "what seems like a reasonably narrow price gap."
According to Weyerhaeuser, roughly 51.7 million, about 47 percent, of the 110 million outstanding Willamette shares were tendered in favor of the $5.5 billion deal. Some analysts believe the 47 percent figure is somewhat disappointing from the suitor's viewpoint.
"I'm a little surprised. It's marginally below where it should be," Don Roberts, an analyst for CIBC World Markets, told Reuters of the tender percent. "The short-term implication is it's taken some of the pressure off the Willamette board to negotiate."