Battle for MCI: Verizon Up your bid or leave

So the last bid from Qwest seems to have worked. MCI board is basically saying that yes this is a fantastic bid, and unless Verizon can do one better, well we are going with Qwest. Bloomberg quotes Leon Cooperman, chief executive of Omega Advisors, and owner of 3.7% of MCI shares, as saying, “The MCI board did what was proper and logical. There’s no reason for us to take less than what Qwest is offering.” Oh by the way, he was one of the three investors who coughed up additional $800 million to help Qwest boost its offer to nearly $10 billion. Verizon should simply walk away from the deal now – even though they have bought Carlos Slim’s MCI stake. They use that as a leverage when they want to acquire Qwest or simply just play with their heads.

Seperately, Verizon issued a statement saying that it has offered a superior deal, and in case MCI opts to go with Qwest, it is hinting at a proxy fight. “Verizon would be entitled to be paid by MCI a $240 million break-up fee plus an expense reimbursement of up to $10 million, and the same amounts would be payable following an MCI shareholders meeting if the Verizon-MCI transaction were not approved and an agreement was signed with Qwest,” the statement said.

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