Link maker

Link Group is silent, investors expect a deal

Noisy Link Group and Suitor Dye & Durham turned gloomy on investors over the weekend, fueling hopes of a crossover deal agreed as early as this week.

Link reminded investors that he could still sell his stake in the PEXA-listed property settlement group if he failed to strike a deal with Dye & Durham. Peter Rae

Nearly eight months after the pair signed their $5.50 per share deal, they’re finally back to the drawing board, acknowledging that the deal was struck in very different markets and likely wouldn’t close. given the September 30 deadline and regulatory hurdles.

So after months of posturing — or pretending — investors are hoping Link finally gets the message, and Dye & Durham still wants enough assets to increase its supply one last time.

The Canadian’s most recent offer landed last week and was at $4.57 per share. This followed a seriously reduced offer at $4.30, which was meant to reset Link’s expectations of $5.50 as much as anything else.

If the M&A playbook is any guide, all it takes from there is for both sides to give a little. If they do, there will probably be a deal. If not, Link will have to dust off his plan B and get serious about distributing his stake in PEXA. Attention would then turn to the flight of value, via taxation or other means.

Ironically, a deal now would mean a win for some long-term managers, who skipped it when Link shares fell below $3.50 in June.

The same managers sold the stock to fast money M&An arb player at the end of last year, but couldn’t resist the value back on the table in recent weeks.