Thursday, February 18, 2010

Negotiation Tactics -- GGP and Simon

Ah yes, getting to yes. Negotiation. We lawyers thrive on this.  And that is exactly what I thought when I saw the Simon letter to GGP yesterday.  You can see it reprinted here at Retail Traffic or here at Citybizlist Baltimore.

My take? Great posturing by Simon. First they say we're not interested, then they say we might be, and now they say they want the company but it has to be done quickly and at their price. I think it is a classic tactic designed to try to scare the creditors and perhaps the court into pushing for Simon's offer.  And it is a smart move. By trying to cut off any other potential bidders I think it keeps the playing field unlevel (Simon's protestations to the contrary about wanting a level field notwithstanding) as you have to know Simon has already done a boatload of due diligence.

So, on to the next step.  Metz & Co. will certainly respond, trying to drag this out enough to either see if there are more players, an alternative to remain independent via a white knight, to get a higher price or some other strategy I haven't considered.  I don't think this will turn into an EOP, of course -- we are in different times - but I would be equally surprised if the company sold for the number on the table today.

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