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Leaves Door Open : Sperry Rejects Sweetened Bid by Burroughs

May 20, 1986|DONNA K. H. WALTERS | Times Staff Writer

Sperry Corp. broke off preliminary merger talks with Burroughs late Monday, rejecting a sweetened, $75-a-share offer and accusing Burroughs of negotiating in bad faith.

However, Sperry, the fifth-largest computer maker, said it "remains committed to pursuing all appropriate options to enhance shareholder value"--presumably leaving the door open for yet another offer from its Detroit-based suitor.

Sperry's statement said it had agreed to meetings between the two companies this past weekend "on the mutual condition" that the talks would center on an $80-a-share transaction.

But late Monday, Burroughs delivered a new proposal that increased the bid to $75 a share plus "securities of uncertain value" from $70, according to the Sperry statement.

Burroughs officials were not available for comment on Sperry's latest move.

Sperry said that during the weekend negotiations, it allowed Burroughs to review some of its current financial information and projections.

Earlier Monday, industry analysts were saying that the negotiations were a good indication that the Burroughs-Sperry combination would be achieved and that "Sperry is gone" as an independent company.

Burroughs launched a hostile takeover bid May 8 after Sperry ignored a friendly proposal made three days earlier. Sperry rejected the $4.06-billion bid as "inadequate" and adopted its own highly conditioned plan to buy back 47% of its own stock for $80 a share if Burroughs succeeded in buying 53% of the company's shares at the $70 price.

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