Investors are doling out a beating to Noranda Aluminum Holding shares, which late yesterday said its largest investor planned to sell all of its 33 percent stake. As of 11:10 a.m., the shares (Ticker: NOR) were off a whopping 27 percent to $2.18, their lowest level since going public five years ago. Volume was massive, with 10.4 million shares already having been traded versus a daily average of about 330,000.
The private-equity firms accused of collusion and antitrust violations in some of the last decade's biggest mergers and acquisitions are arguing in Boston this week that there was nothing wrong with what they did.
“They neither identify any direct evidence of an actual agreement among these defendants to fix the market for large LBOs nor allege circumstantial facts that support the plausibility of such a conspiracy,” the defendants said in court filings. “These transactions simply represent the normal workings of the mergers-and-acquisition business.”
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Former Wall Street dealmaker par excellence Henry Silverman has told his fellow directors at Noranda Aluminum that he will leave his position in two weeks. Silverman only last fall joined the board of Franklin-based Noranda through his vice chaiman role at private-equity firm Apollo Management — a job he is also leaving this month.
Apollo Management, the New York-based private-equity firm that controls about 60 percent of Noranda Aluminum, has replaced one of its representatives on the board of the Franklin-based company. Out is longtime Apollo Partner Scott Kleinman, in comes Vice Chairman Henry Silverman, who has in the past run Blackstone Group and built Cendant into a multi-industry conglomerate during the 1990s. Silverman sold Realogy to Apollo for more than $6 billion in 2007 and formally joined Apollo in early 2009.
Franklin-based Noranda Aluminum has filed with the SEC to sell up to $350 million of shares and/or debt instruments. The company's shelf filing also includes notice that its main shareholder, private-equity firm Apollo Management, will from time to time sell chunks of its holdings. Apollo, which acquired Noranda in May of 2007, still owns about two-thirds of the company. Shares of Noranda (Ticker: NOR) are down about 3 percent this morning.
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