Auto Service World
News   December 14, 2015   by Allan Janssen

Pep Boys to go with Bridgestone; Icahn bid no longer ‘superior’

Pep Boys and Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO) have amended their agreement and plan of merger dated October 26, 2015.

BSRO has increased the offer price to acquire all the outstanding shares of common stock of Pep Boys from $15.00 per share to $15.50 per share in cash, or approximately $863 million in aggregate equity value.

The revised offer price of $15.50 per share provides approximately $28 million in additional cash consideration to Pep Boys shareholders.

The Pep Boys board of directors continues to unanimously recommend that Pep Boys shareholders accept BSRO’s offer and tender their shares pursuant to that offer.

Pep Boys also announced that its board of directors no longer deems the proposal received on Dec. 8, 2015 from Icahn Enterprises L.P. to acquire Pep Boys for $15.50 per share in cash to be a “superior proposal” as defined in the agreement and plan of merger.

The offer documents and Pep Boys’ solicitation/recommendation statement on Schedule 14D-9 will be amended to reflect the amended terms.

The tender offer will expire January 4, 2016, unless extended.

“The joining of Bridgestone and Pep Boys combines the expertise of nearly 200 years and a proud heritage in the American automotive aftermarket industry,” said T.J. Higgins, president, Consumer U.S. and Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “Both of our companies take immense pride in the skill of our employees, those in the bays and behind the counters of our stores. Bringing that technical talent together with our shared dedication to customer service will create a better, not just bigger, tire and automotive service retailer, and one that is positioned to best meet consumer needs.”

BSRO’s nationwide network of 2,200 tire and automotive service centers operate under the Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works brand banners.  Along with these company-owned stores and Bridgestone’s more than 5,000 long-standing dealers and distributors in the United States, the Pep Boys’ network represents an immediate expansion for BSRO, and accelerates the global growth strategy of Bridgestone Corporation. The world’s largest tire and rubber company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the parent of Bridgestone Americas.

D.F. King & Co., Inc. is acting as information agent for Bridgestone in the tender offer. American Stock Transfer & Trust Company, LLC is acting as depositary and paying agent in the tender offer. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as dealer manager in the tender offer.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to Bridgestone. Jones Day is acting as legal advisor to Bridgestone. Rothschild is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to Pep Boys. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is acting as legal advisor to Pep Boys.

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