Battle for MCI, Gloves Come Off

Qwest is not rolling over and has taken the gloves off in its battle for MCI. Having gotten the support from many angry shareholders, the company revealed the details of its bid, which was a whopping billion dollars higher than Verizon deal.

“A billion dollars is a lot of shareowner value to leave on the table,” Richard C. Notebaert, Qwest’s chairman and chief executive said in a conference call with Wall Street. “The last time I checked with the Federal Reserve, a billion of cash isn’t subject to any whims or volatility or anything else. It is hard cash.”

Michael Capellas, as I mentioned three days ago, is going around trying to show Wall Street types, that Verizon is a better deal is not finding any love and a lot of people are actually skeptical of whatever he says. The New York Times, actually came out and said that today. No one on Wall Street loves this guy. Times says that “Even his own bankers say they are not especially fond of him.”

His double talk bothers folks, the daily says. For instance last fall he told investors that the company was not up for sale, at the time when it was being shopped around. During a CNBC interview, he forgot “the name of one of his big investors, Leon Cooperman, the outspoken chief executive of Omega Advisors. He embarrassingly called him “Mr. Cooper.””

And then there was that whole episode of making up data about MCI network which was simply all lies. One thing is pretty sure, my earlier description of him as Mr. Confused was right. Memo to HP Board: There are better options out there. Meanwhile an MCI shareholder has sued to block the Verizon deal! The suit was filed by Joseph Pojanowski in the Delaware Chancery Court, MarketWatch says.