Janus' Board Said "No" To Two Deals
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Janus' Board Said "No" To Two Deals

After rejecting two deals last summer, Janus top executives have quietyly taken the mutual fund firm off the shopping block. The report is in the Denver Post, Janus hometown newspaper. It cites consultant Geoff Bobroff (backed by other unnamed sources) for its report that Janus board of directors gave a thumbs down to offers from MassMutual and Franklin Templeton made last year. Former CEO Gary Black is said to have negotiated both deals. He was replaced by Richard Weil as CEO in February.

MassMutual would have merged Janus with its OppenheimerFunds, according to the paper. The Springfield, Massachusetts-based insurer bid was not reported.

Meanwhile, Janus' board turned down a $13.50 per share bid from Franklin Resources at a time when Janus' stock traded around $9. Janus shares still trade below the Franklin bid, closing Friday at $12.31. Franklin was attracted to Janus as a way to acquire a basket of growth equity funds that it would have been able to sell through its international sales network, according to the paper.

Rather than sell the company, the board decided to raise capital -- it floated $300 million of new equity and debt issues -- and invest in building its own path. That path is likely to leverage Weil's experience in the institutional market at Pimco.

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