A week after it revealed that it had received an unsolicited takeover offer, the Quarto Group announced this morning that its discussions with the potential buyer have ended.
In its release, Quarto said the pace of negotiations had not been moving along the timeline envisioned when the deal was first announced. One potential sticking point is that regulatory approvals would likely take time to be granted. Sources with knowledge of the deal said the bid came from a Chinese publisher.
At the time the offer was announced, Quarto chief executive Marcus Leaver said he did not want the sale process to drag out, explaining it would be unfair to the employees and make it difficult to end 2017 on a strong note. Leaver reiterated that thinking in a prepared statement: “This was an unsolicited offer and while it was pitched at an attractive premium, the board considers it imperative that the company remains focused on delivering a strong finish to the year. I welcome the clarity which this decision brings.”
Quarto had a soft first half of the year with sales down 13%, attributed in part to the restructuring of the company to a pure publisher, which put more emphasis on Quarto’s second half performance. Leaver said Quarto has a very strong list set for the final months of 2017, and he remains encouraged that the company will “execut[e] our plans and maximiz[e] the opportunities in the second half of the year.”