KKR First Data deal faces lawsuit

An aggrieved shareholder has launched a lawsuit against US buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts over its potential $29 billion deal for US firm First Data, on the grounds that the proposed bid is too low.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ $29 billion bid for First Data, a US electronic payments business, has been criticised as “wholly inadequate” by one of the company’s shareholders, who is suing the buyout firm in the US courts.

Chris Larson, a shareholder in First Data, filed a lawsuit in Delaware yesterday seeking to put a block on the deal “until the company adopts and implements a procedure or process to obtain the highest possible price.”

Larson said KKR’s $34 per share offer, a 26 percent premium on First Data’s previous share price, was “wholly inadequate, as First Data is worth far more than that.” He is seeking class action status for his complaint.
 
First Data may yet render Larson’s lawsuit unnecessary. The company is currently taking advantage of a 50-day “go shop” window to actively solicit higher offers from other bidders, following its announcement on April 2 that KKR’s bid had been approved by a committee of three independent directors.