Shares of Myers Industries ( MYE) plunged 24% Monday after Goldman Sachs ( GS) delayed closing its buyout of the polymer-products maker.
Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, the private-equity arm of the investment banking behemoth, extended the closing deadline of the Myers acquisition to April 30. Previously, the transaction was slated to close Dec. 15. As a result of the delay, Goldman agreed to pay Myers $35 million. According to Myers, Goldman said there has been no material adverse change in the company's business. Rather, the deadline extension resulted from Goldman's desire to "further evaluate conditions in certain industries in which Myers operates." The delay comes as big buyouts from private-equity players have been falling apart as the credit market tightens. United Rentals ( URI) and Sallie Mae ( SLM) are in legal battles to force their acquirers to complete buyouts, while Harman ( HAR) and Acxiom ( ACXM) have seen their deals completely pulled. Meanwhile, Myers' customers in the industrial and automotive industries are being squeezed by the housing-market downturn. For its part, Myers said "both sides continue to work closely to complete this transaction." The company said, though, that it is now free to evaluate other takeover proposals during the extended buyout period, and it won't have to pay a termination fee if it finds another buyer. The Goldman deal called for Myers to be acquired for $22.50 a share. The stock recently was trading at $16.45, down $5.11. Myers also said it plans to pay a special dividend of 28 cents a share, and it will lift its regular quarterly payout to 6 cents from 5.25 cents.