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P.F. Chang’s shareholder sues over $1.1 billion deal

Suit claims buyout to take company private undervalues restaurant chain

Hilary Coyne is steaming like  a platter of kung pao chicken.

Coyne, a P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. shareholder, sued the company over an acquisition bid that she claims undervalues the country’s largest Asian restaurant chain and unfairly gives executives millions of dollars in compensation.

The $1.1 billion deal, which Centerbridge Partners proposed on May 1, would take P.F. Chang’s private. Coyne’s suit claims P.F. Chang’s directors intend to move forward with the deal without a shareholder vote.

“The company has been improperly valued and shareholders will not likely receive adequate or fair value for their PFCP common stock in the buyout,” Coyne’s May 18 lawsuit stated.

According to Coyne’s suit, the acquisition will unfairly reward P.F. Chang’s executives, including CEO Richard Federico. He and two other executives would receive $17.5 million under the deal.

And in an added twist, the suit claims the P.F. Chang’s board introduced a conflict of interest because it hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which also has worked with Centerbridge, to serve as the company’s financial adviser in the deal.

P.F. Chang’s says Coyne’s suit lacks merit and that it intends to “vigorously defend” itself.

Read Bloomberg for more details about the P.F. Chang suit.

For more InsideCounsel coverage on M&A lawsuits, read:

Plaintiffs firms still reaping rewards from M&A lawsuits

M&A Deal Lawsuits Soar

Ashley Post

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