US-based brokerage BGC Partners has written a letter to GFI Group shareholders asking them to reject a rival bid for the company, adding add that its attempt to buy the rival group has been "actively sabotaged" by its management.
The letter recommended shareholders turn down a bid by CME Group, pointing out its own "fully financed, all-cash tender offer provides superior value and immediate liquidity... and is free of the conflicts of interest inherent in the proposed CME-GFI merger".
BGC has made a cash offer of $5.45 a share. At the beginning of December, CME offered $5.25 per shares in a mixture of cash and shares.
Although BGC seems like the obvious choice, 40 per cent of GFI equity is owned by its management, who have pledged to support CME.
Today, BGC wrote:
Despite the clear superiority of our offer, we have faced continued obstacles and delaying tactics, which we believe are the result of actions taken by [GFI founder] Michael Gooch and [chief exec] Colin Heffron, who have a conflicting personal commitment to the joint CME/management bid for GFI and are actively sabotaging the transaction with BGC.
The two have been competing with one another to acquire GFI since September last year. BGC already owns a 13 per cent stake in the company, but wants to raise its shareholding to 100 per cent.