Waste Management Might Increase Offer for Republic

Date: September 16, 2008

Source: News Room

Evidence is mounting that Waste Management might increase its offer for Republic Services. The latest is the disclosure by billionaire Bill Gates' investment vehicle Cascade Investment LLC that it has bought more than 5.7 million Republic Services shares since the beginning of August, bringing his total stake to 32.9 million shares, or about 18.1% of the shares outstanding. He bought the shares for an average price of $34.11 each despite his public opposition to Waste Management's offer. A poison pill measure adopted by Republic to thwart Waste Management's offer allows Cascade and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase their combined stake to 20%. His exercise of that option could be interpreted as a defensive play to help vote against a Waste Management deal, or as a profit motive should an offer from Waste Management be accepted.

In June, Republic Services agreed to buy Allied Waste for $6.24 billion in a merger of equals. The next month, Waste Management made a $34-a-share unsolicited bid for Republic Services, which it raised to $37 a share in August after Republic rejected its first offer.

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