The DHR International/Caldwell Partners International battle continues to remain hot. Everyone agrees that the prime obligation of the Board of Caldwell Partners International is to enhance shareholder value. Where disagreement arises is how the Board needs to discharge this obligation.
DHR argue (supported by their PR company, Hunt Scanlon) that to do this, the Caldwell Board need to accept the DHR takeover offer. That is nonsense. Why? Because the Caldwell Partners' fee earners, who are the core asset of the business, are unambiguous in saying they do not want to work for DHR International, the 'ISIL of the executive search world'. This means that if there were to be an acquisition by DHR, these individuals would leave Caldwell/DHR thus deflating the purchase price and destroying value for Caldwell's shareholders.
The best proof of this is the way DHR's fake acquisition ploy for CTPartners played out. Within a couple of months, almost a quarter of the CTPartners consultants (particularly the big billers) left the firm to avoid joining the unethical DHR. If you add to this the number of consultants who declined DHR International's offers to join after the collapse of CTP, you will find there were very few who ended up joining. As it stands today based on DHR's own web site almost three weeks later, under 4% of the CTP consultants have professed to joining DHR and these were generally the poor performers who have not yet found a job anywhere else. We think the final number will be around 10% of CTP consultants. Even Hunt Scanlon's exaggerated numbers (provided by DHR) suggest that DHR secured only 27% of CTP consultants (or 75 out of 278 consultants who were at CTP prior to the DHR scam).
In other words, if DHR paid the CTP shareholders for this pseudo-acquisition (rather than doing a grubby deal with CTP's lenders), DHR would have paid a significant discount to the share price prior on the day that DHR launched its fake acquisition bid.
So, we applaud the Caldwell Board for their stance on DHR. They have the benefit of seeing DHR's track record in fake takeovers and know that DHR are doing this to destabilize Caldwell and to remove a competitor rather than to buy the business from Caldwell's shareholders. But, if you are publicly traded like Caldwell Partners, then you have a problem.
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