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The EGL Has Crash-Landed

Shares plunge 18% after a buyout backer backs out.

EGL (EAGL) plunged 18% after the freight company warned of weak fourth-quarter numbers, prompting the private equity sponsor of a planned buyout to drop its support for the bid.

Houston-based EGL, operator of the Eagle Global Logistics supply chain and transport business, said General Atlantic withdrew as a sponsor of a $36-a-share offer made by leading shareholder James R. Crane.

"General Atlantic indicated that its participation in the offer has been withdrawn," EGL said, "due to an expected shortfall in EGL's fourth-quarter 2006 results, as compared to amounts previously anticipated by analysts and by General Atlantic."

EGL expects to post an 8% year-over-year decline in revenue per shipment at its domestic freight forwarding division. The company cited a greater proportion of deferred heavy-weight airfreight and residential shipments during the traditional peak shipping season.

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Crane said he intends to present a revised offer after securing a new equity backer.

EGL fell $6.94 to $30.95.