Bad Numbers Spoil A Phone Deal

For Peoples Telephone, it was truly a wrong number. On May 10, the prospect of a first-quarter operating loss scuttled the Miami pay- telephone company's proposed acquisition by IDB Communications. IDB had offered $17.60 a share, or $330 million. But it balked when Peoples said that bad winter weather had turned the $1.5 million operating profit analysts had expected into a $400,000 loss. IDB, a satellite carrier primarily of international calls that wanted to build its U.S. business through Peoples, then reduced its offer to just $236 million--a price that Peoples rejected. Peoples' stock dropped 5 5/16,

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