AS FILED WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION ON FEBRUARY 6, 1998.
SCHEDULE 14A INFORMATION
PROXY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 14(A) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Filed by the Registrant [ ]
Filed by a Party other than the Registrant [X]
Check the appropriate box:
AMERICAN BANKERS INSURANCE GROUP, INC.
(Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC.
(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement if other than the Registrant)
Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):
[X] No Fee required.
[ ] Fee computed on table below per Exchange Act Rules 14a-6(i)(4) and 0-11:
(1) Title of each class of securities to which transaction applies:
(2) Aggregate number of securities to which the transaction applies:
(3) Per unit price or other underlying value of transaction computed
pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 0-11 (Set forth the amount on which the
filing fee is calculated and state how it was determined):
(4) Proposed maximum aggregate value of transaction:
(5) Total fee paid:
[ ] Fee paid previously with preliminary materials.
[ ] Check box if any part of the fee is offset as provided by Exchange Act Rule
0-11(a)(2) and identify the filing for which the offsetting fee was paid
previously. Identify the previous filing by registration statement number,
or the Form or Schedule and the date of its filing.
(1) Amount Previously Paid:
(2) Form, Schedule or Registration Statement No.:
(3) Filing Party:
(4) Date Filed:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC.; Case No. 98-____
AND AIGF, INC.,
CENDANT CORPORATION; and
SEASON ACQUISITION CORP.,
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY
AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
Plaintiffs American International Group, Inc. ("AIG") and AIGF, Inc.
("AIGF") for their complaint against defendants Cendant Corporation ("Cendant")
and Season Acquisition Corp. ("Season"), by and through their undersigned
attorneys, allege as follows:
NATURE OF THE ACTION
1. On December 21, 1997, AIG, AIGF and American Bankers Insurance Group,
Inc. ("American Bankers"), a Florida corporation, entered into a merger
agreement (the "AIG Merger Agreement") which provides that American Bankers will
be merged with AIGF, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIG (the "AIG Merger"). The
AIG Merger Agreement provides that each share of American Bankers common stock
will be cancelled in the AIG Merger in exchange for a portion
of a share of AIG common stock (or, subject to specified limitations and at the
election of American Bankers common shareholders, cash) equal to $47.00, with a
total value of approximately $2.2 billion. The AIG Merger is scheduled to be put
to a vote of American Bankers' common shareholders on March 6, 1998 and
preferred shareholders on March 4, 1998.
2. On January 27, 1998, Cendant and Season, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Cendant, announced an intention to commence a hostile tender offer (the "Cendant
Offer") to purchase up to 51% of the outstanding shares of American Bankers for
$58.00 per share. The purpose of the Cendant Offer and the proposed second step
merger between Cendant and Season (the "Cendant Merger") is to enable Cendant to
acquire control of, and ultimately the entire equity interest in, American
3. Since January 27, 1998, Cendant and Season have embarked upon a
campaign of misinformation by disseminating numerous false and misleading
statements to American Bankers' shareholders in violation of the federal
securities laws (in particular Sections 14(a) and 14(e) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended ("Exchange Act"). Cendant and Season's conduct
is designed to mislead American Bankers' shareholders and to induce them to vote
against the AIG Merger by deceiving shareholders into believing that the Cendant
Offer represents a real and unconditional alternative to the AIG Merger worth
$58.00 per share when, in fact, the Cendant Offer is highly conditional and
risky and, if consummated, would leave American Bankers' shareholders holding
extremely volatile Cendant common stock. Cendant also has falsely represented to
American Bankers' shareholders that a merger with American Bankers would achieve
$140 million in pre-tax synergies, and hence would not dilute Cendant's per
share earnings. As Cendant well knows, it cannot achieve such inflated
also has represented that it will obtain the necessary regulatory approvals from
state insurance departments in substantially the same time frame as insurance
regulatory approvals for the AIG Merger. Cendant, which was formed by a merger
less than two months ago and has no experience running an insurance company,
knows that these statements are false because state insurance departments will
have to conduct a thorough investigation into Cendant's financial condition,
background and competence to run an insurance company before allowing Cendant to
acquire American Bankers.
4. Cendant's false and misleading statements are not its only violations
of federal law. For over one week, Cendant and its advisors have been touting
the Cendant Merger --and the Cendant stock that will be issued in connection
with it -- while intentionally failing to file a registration statement with
respect to the Cendant stock. Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933, as
amended (the "1933 Act"), prohibits any person from selling or offering to sell
securities without filing a registration statement. 15 U.S.C. ss. 77e(a). Such
blatant violations of the 1933 Act, which also subverts the proxy solicitation
process, should not go unremedied. Unless this court promptly issues an
injunction halting Cendant and its advisors from continuing to violate Section 5
of the 1933 Act, plaintiffs and other American Bankers shareholders will
continue to receive requests for shareholder votes and offers to purchase
Cendant common stock -- securities as to which no registration statement has
been filed under the federal securities laws -- without the critical financial
and other information required by the 1933 Act in connection with a public offer
of stock and the by Exchange Act for the solicitation of proxies.
5. Because Cendant continues -- on a daily basis -- to mislead American
Bankers' shareholders, AIG must seek relief from this Court pursuant to Sections
14(a) and 14(e) of the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
6. The claims asserted herein arise under Section 14(a) and 14(e) of the
Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. ss.ss. 78n(a), and 78n(e), and the rules and regulations
promulgated thereunder. This court has jurisdiction over the action pursuant to
Section 27 of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 78aa; 28 U.S.C. ss. 1331 (federal
question); and 28 U.S.C. ss. 1367 (supplemental jurisdiction).
7. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ss.
1391 and 15 U.S.C. ss. 78aa. The claims asserted herein arose in this District,
and the acts and transactions complained of have occurred, are occurring, and
unless enjoined, will continue to occur in this District.
8. Plaintiff AIG is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of
the State of Delaware, with its principal place of business in New York. AIG is
a beneficial owner of 8,265,626 American Bankers common stock. AIG is a holding
company with a market capitalization as of December 31, 1997, of approximately
$76 billion, which through its subsidiaries is primarily engaged in a broad
range of insurance and insurance-related activitiesand financial services in the
United States and abroad. AIG has received Triple-A ratings from its principal
ratings agencies, Moody's and Standard & Poor's.
9. Plaintiff AIGF is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIG and is a Florida
corporation newly-formed for the purpose of consummating the AIG Merger.
10. Defendant Cendant is a corporation organized and existing under the
laws of the State of Delaware with its principal place of business located in
Parsippany, New Jersey. Cendant has not regisrtered to do business in the state
of Florida. Cendant was formed on December 17, 1997 through the merger of HFS,
Inc. ("HFS"), a company involved in the lodging, rental car and other consumer
marketing businesses, and CUC International, Inc. ("CUC"), a company engaged in
direct marketing "membership clubs" to consumers. Cendant reports that it
"administers insurance package programs which are generally combined with
discount shopping and travel for credit union members." Cendant Texas Form A at
5 (Filed Jan. 27, 1998). What this actually means is that Cendant markets
accidental death and dismemberment and accident insurance policies for insurance
companies such as Hartford, Cigna and US Life. Cendant has no experience in
running an insurance company. Indeed, Cendant acknowledges that it primarily
engages in three business segments: membership services, travel and real estate
- -- none of which is related to insurance.
11. On January 27, 1998, Cendant publicly announced that defendant Season,
a wholly owned subsidiary of Cendant, had commenced a tender offer to purchase
51% of the outstanding common shares of American Bankers, with the remaining 49%
of the shares to be acquired through a second-step merger. Season is a New
Jersey corporation with its principal place of business also in Parsippany, New
The AIG Merger.
12. Between August and December 1997 representatives of AIG and American
Bankers exchanged financial and other information and discussed the possible
revenue enhancement and business opportunities in connection with a possible
business combination. In particular, AIG and American Bankers discussed the
benefits to American Bankers of AIG's Triple-A credit and the enormous
opportunities potentially available to American Bankers in combining with AIG's
substantial and successful insurance operations outside of North America.
13. On December 19, 1997, the board of directors of AIG approved the AIG
Merger Agreement pursuant to which each shareholder of American Bankers would
receive $47.00 in AIG common stock in exchange for each share of American
Bankers common stock. Under the terms of the AIG Merger Agreement, American
Bankers shareholders can elect to receive $47 in cash instead of AIG common
stock, subject to the condition that the maximum aggregate amount of cash that
AIG will pay to all holders of common stock will be equal to 49.9% of the total
value of the consideration paid to all holders of American Bankers' common
stock. If cash elections are made with respect to more than 49.9% of the
outstanding shares of common stock, AIG will make cash payments on a pro rata
14. On December 21, 1997, the board of directors of American Bankers
unanimously approved the AIG Merger Agreement and resolved unanimously to
recommend that the shareholders of American Bankers (including holders of
American Bankers' preferred and common stock) vote for approval and adoption of
the AIG Merger Agreement. AIG and shareholders owning 3,389,300 shares of
American Bankers' common stock entered into a voting agreement providing, inter
alia, that the shares would be voted in favor of the merger.
15. In a joint press release dated December 22, 1997, the respective
Chairmen of AIG and American Bankers each disclosed the benefits that would be
gained by a merger of the two corporations. Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman of
"We are very pleased to have reached this agreement to acquire
American Bankers, a fine company with product lines that complement,
but do not overlap those of AIG. American Bankers management shares
the AIG philosophy of doing business and they have an outstanding
reputation for product and service quality, as well as a strong
financial record. Culturally and from a business standpoint, there
is an excellent fit between our two organizations . . . . As part of
AIG, American Bankers will be able to take advantage of AIG's
relationships and global network to build its business of credit
related insurance products marketed through financial institutions
and other entities. Particularly overseas, AIG will be able to open
significant new opportunities for American Bankers. AIG's top credit
ratings should also provide an important benefit to American Bankers
. . . ."
AIG to Acquire American Bankers Insurance Group for Stock Valued at $2.2
billion, PR Newswire, Dec. 22, 1997.
16. In the same press release, the President and CEO of American Bankers,
Gerald N. Gaston, also made clear the benefits of AIG Merger to American
"We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity for American
Bankers to become a member of the AIG organization. This will create
significant new opportunities for our clients, associates and
employees. With AIG's excellent name recognition, financial strength
and broad network, our clients will benefit from being associated
with one of the world's leading providers of insurance and financial
services. This is truly an outstanding result for both
17. Analysts commented favorably on the AIG Merger and the benefits that
the transaction would afford to both AIG and American Bankers. Gloria Vogel, an
analyst at Advest
Inc. said of the merger, "[t]he cross-selling opportunities are terrific." AIG
to Acquire American Bankers, Dallas Morning News, Dec. 23, 1997, at 4D. Ken
Zuckerberg, a Moody's analyst, said:
"[The Merger] allows American Bankers to leverage AIG's global
network, and get access to their higher ratings. In an environment
of soft property-casualty and limited US growth opportunities,
consolidation makes sense."
John Authers, AIG to Acquire American Bankers Insurance, Fin. Times, Dec. 23,
1997 at 20. Cendant Surfaces With its Hostile Offer.
18. Without any prior warning or notice, on January 27, 1998, Cendant,
through its President and Chief Executive Officer, Henry R. Silverman, and its
Chairman, Walter A. Forbes, wrote a letter (the "January 27 Letter") to the
American Bankers' board of directors and submitted a proposal to acquire
American Bankers for $58 per common share payable in cash and Cendant stock. The
January 27 Letter also announced that Cendant "will be commencing promptly a
cash tender offer directly to American Bankers' shareholders for 51%of American
Bankers' shares at a price of $58 per common share to be followed by a second
step merger in which shares of Cendant common stock with a fixed value of $58
per share will be exchanged on a tax free basis for the balance of American
Bankers' common stock." Following Cendant's announcement, AIG gave notice to
American Bankers that it exercised its right to purchase 8,265,626 shares of
American Bankers common stock, subject to regulatory approvals.
19. Simultaneously with their acquisition proposal, Cendant and Season
commenced an action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Florida in which they named as defendants American Bankers, its
board of directors, AIG and AIGF alleging, among other things, that certain
terms of the AIG Merger Agreement and the AIG Merger constituted a
breach of fiduciary duty to Cendant -- allegedly a beneficial owner of 371,200
shares of American Bankers common stock. The Complaint failed to disclose that
Cendant began acquiring its shares on January 16, 1998, nearly one month after
the conduct it alleged constituted a breach of fiduciary duty.
Cendant Commences its Campaign of False and Misleading
Statements and Violations of the Federal Securities Laws.
20. On January 27, 1998 -- before Cendant had filed any proxy or tender
offer materials or a registration statement in connection with the securities
that Cendant intended to offer in connection with the Cendant Merger --
Cendant's President and CEO, Henry Silverman, made a speech to analysts
announcing the Cendant Offer. Silverman told analysts:
"[o]ur $58 offer price represents a 23% premium to that offer.
We believe ABI shareholders will find our offer compelling, and
clearly superior to AIG's."
21. Silverman also made it clear that Cendant intended to conduct a proxy
contest to persuade American Bankers' shareholders to vote against the AIG
"We will also conduct a proxy contest right through the date of
their meeting, if there ever is a meeting, to consider the AIG
transaction. So, I would expect that shareholders could anticipate
receiving communications from us in those two areas."
22. During the January 27 analysts' conference call (the "January 27
Analysts Call"), Silverman made a number of statements that he knew to be
materially false and misleading and failed to disclose material facts. These
misleading disclosures were repeated in subsequent public filings and materials
disseminated to American Bankers' shareholders.
Cendant Misrepresents its Ability to Obtain Regulatory Approvals.
23. During the January 27 Analysts Call, Silverman represented that
Cendant's bid to acquire American Bankers was on an
"equal footing with AIG on the basis of timing, financial conditions
or any other basis. These approvals usually take months to complete;
therefore, AIG is essentially no further along than we are. In fact,
we have already been approved in the past to write insurance in
major states, including New York and Colorado, and we see no reason
to believe that our applications in these states or in any other
state or country will not [be] approved on a timely basis."
24. Silverman's assertion that the timing of regulatory approvals for the
AIG Merger and the Cendant Merger was comparable and that both transactions
could close at the same time was knowingly false and misleading. In fact, the
regulatory approval process for the AIG Merger commenced in December 1997 and is
much further along than Cendant's efforts to obtain approval for its proposed
acquisition of American Bankers, which was announced just a few days ago.
Furthermore, Silverman failed to disclose that AIG -- which is in the business
of writing insurance -- is more likely to secure prompt insurance regulatory
approval than Cendant, which admittedly has no history of running insurance
25. Silverman's representation that Cendant will secure insurance
regulatory approval on the same time schedule as the AIG Merger is also false
and misleading because it ignores the fact that the state insurance regulatory
approval process creates a significant obstacle and hurdle to the Cendant
Merger. As Silverman well knows, the insurance regulatory approval process will
be a searching and thorough investigation into the background, experience and
financial condition of Cendant (and the people who manage it) in order to
determine whether the Cendant Merger is in the best interests of American
Bankers' policyholders. For at least the following
reasons, none of which have been fully disclosed to American Bankers'
shareholders in any public filings or elsewhere, it is clear that Cendant will
find it difficult, if not impossible, to secure prompt approval for the Cendant
Merger from various state insurance departments:
a. Cendant, which was created just last December through the merger
of CUC and HFS, is a company whose financial condition cannot be evaluated
with any degree of confidence. Cendant has been so busy acquiring or
agreeing to acquire companies that it has yet to produce pro forma
financial statements showing what its financial condition would be after
the American Bankers acquisition and its other pending acquisitions. State
insurance departments will have to subject Cendant (and its predecessor
corporations) to a lengthy and detailed financial review. As reported in
the February 4, 1998 Miami Herald, Florida Insurance Commissioner Bill
Nelson stated after meeting with Walter Forbes of Cendant:
in no way was he giving Cendant the department's "Good
Housekeeping Seal of Approval," he said. "What we want to see
is that people who want to do business in Florida meet
financial requirements and have the best interests of
consumers at heart," Nelson said.
By contrast, AIG -- a company with sterling ratings and financial history
-- will have no such issues in securing regulatory approval.
b. Cendant -- and its predecessor HFS -- has grown by acquiring a
variety of businesses that generate cash flows but have few tangible
assets. Upon acquiring these businesses, HFS has sold the tangible assets
it acquired (hotels, rental cars, etc.) and allocated a substantial
percentage of the purchase price to "goodwill" and other
"intangible" assets. For example, just three weeks ago Cendant confirmed
that it was purchasing Jackson Hewitt, a tax preparation service, for $68
per share. Cendant allocated only $14 million of the purchase price to
tangible assets, while allocating $466 million to goodwill -- an
intangible asset. By allocating such substantial amounts of its cost of
purchasing companies to good will and other intangible assets, HFS and
Cendant have greatly inflated current earnings at the expense of future
earnings. Cendant amortizes intangibles for as many as 40 years, which is
far longer than generally permitted for franchise values, or for real
assets (which must be depreciated over their useful lives -- e.g., 2 or 5
years). Using a 40-year amortization, Cendant can recognize only
one-quarter the annual amortization expense it would recognize if it used
a ten-year amortization period. As of the date of the HFS/CUC merger,
Cendant had net assets of $4.7 billion but net tangible assets of minus
approximately $33 million. If Cendant acquired American Bankers, the
combined company would have net assets of approximately $6 billion, but
net tangible assets of minus $1.4 billion. State insurance departments
will take care to determine whether it would be in the interests of
American Bankers' policyholders to be insured by a company whose parent
corporation has net tangible assets of minus $1.4 billion.
c. This growth-by-acquisition strategy and associated creation of
huge amounts of intangible assets has clearly fueled HFS' market price,
and has made acquisitions using HFS stock relatively cheap. Like a shark
who has to keep swimming to avoid sinking, however, HFS's (and Cendant's)
earnings can only keep growing as rapidly as they have if Cendant can
continue to make newer and larger acquisitions.
Once Cendant's cash flows, revenues and profits stop growing, its share
price will drop from its lofty peak of 50 times inflated profits,
acquisitions will become more expensive, earnings will decrease even more
as amortization of good will and other intangibles drag down earnings no
longer inflated by Cendant's creative acquisition and accounting strategy,
with the inevitable toll on Cendant's inflated stock price. A September 9,
1996 report in Forbes summarized Silverman's (and HFS's) potentially
disastrous acquisition strategy:
"With Silverman's financial magic and business ingenuity
in full gear, HFS' earnings are likely to grow rapidly for
another year or two, but essentially he's playing a more
sophisticated version of the old franchise game: The
profits keep growing rapidly only so long as Silverman can
find new and larger businesses to buy and convert to his
swollen stock multiples. When the game slows, as it inevitably
will, the swollen earnings gains will begin to shrink and
around then the fancy multiples will go poof. By then Henry
Silverman, already worth some $600 million on paper, will
probably be even richer. Recent investors aren't likely to
fare as well."
See Howard Rudnitsky, Henry the magician, Forbes, Sept. 9, 1996 at 99. (A
copy of that article is annexed hereto as Exhibit A.) Plainly, state
insurance regulators will have to analyze Cendant's financial condition
and accounting methodology carefully before approving an acquisition of
American Bankers by Cendant. These accounting and financial issues simply
do not exist in connection with the AIG Merger.
d. Silverman, Cendant's President and Chief Executive Officer, has
had an checkered business history. State insurance regulators will likely
conduct a detailed investigation before giving Cendant and Silverman
approval to acquire American
Bankers. From 1982 through 1990, Silverman was president and chief
executive of Reliance Capital Corp. ("Reliance Capital"), the leveraged
buyout unit of the financier and corporate raider Saul Steinberg's
Reliance Group Holdings. In this position, Silverman frequently used the
highly leveraged, junk bond strategies of Michael Milken and his
associates at Drexel Burnham Lambert, and participated in Milken's junk
bond takeovers. On information and belief, among the investors investing
with Reliance Capital was a partnership called Drexel Reliance Capital
Group, which included Milken, Seema Boesky (Ivan Boesky's wife), Victor
Posner, Carl Lindner, casino owner Steve Wynn and Thomas Spiegel of the
failed Columbia Savings & Loan -- all associates of Milken and attendees
(along with Silverman) at Milken's annual "Predators' Ball." Not
surprisingly given this background, Silverman has been affiliated with a
number of companies that have gone into bankruptcy shortly after his
tenure ended. Silverman's business ethics have also been called into
question by commentators. For example, one report described how he bought
and sold the Days Inns motel chain three times in eight years:
"In the process, Silverman, 52, has feathered his own nest and
made more than $100 million for his investors. Days Inns
bondholders, though, have gotten bagged for hundreds of millions of
dollars. You can't make an omelette without breaking someone's
Allan Sloan, Once Again, It's Checkout Time; Silverman Selling Chain for
Third Time, Newsday, Sept. 13, 1992, at 84; see also Howard Rudnitsky,
Triple Dipper, Forbes, Nov. 25, 1995, at 171 ("Henry Silverman and his
friends got rich while the bondholders of Days Inns lost their shirts.")
(A copy of that article is annexed hereto as Exhibit B.)
e. Based upon public information and news articles, at least the
following facts have been reported about Mr. Silverman's association with
three companies that ended up in bankruptcy:
(i) In 1984, Silverman's Reliance Capital acquired Atlanta-based
Days Inns of America, which consisted of 300 motels, including 140
company-owned inns, from the Cecil Day estate for $570 million. Financing
for the leveraged buyout came from $285 million in junk bonds issued by
Drexel Burnham Lambert. Reliance Capital put just $16 million in equity
into the deal. Among the investors who reportedly put up the additional
capital to buy the chain was Drexel Reliance Capital Group.
The head of Reliance, Saul Steinberg, placed Silverman at the helm
of Days Inns. Silverman slashed the size of the corporate headquarters
staff by more than half, sold all but about 20 of the company's motels to
franchisees for $423 million, and initiated a franchising spree that
tripled the size of the chain to 900 properties by 1990. The sale of the
company's chain led some newspaper reporters to call Steinberg an
In December 31, 1985, Reliance took Days Inns public, raising $25
million for the company. But Reliance and the Milken partnership retained
45% of the company's stock after the completion of the initial public
Days Inns was carrying a huge $535 million debt load with just $600
million in total assets. In fact, debt was a constant theme at Days Inns
while Silverman ran the company. After Reliance acquired the hotel chain
in 1984, Days Inns always maintained between $400 million and $600 million
in long-term debt. Silverman constantly refinanced the debt, almost always
with junk bonds issued by Drexel Burnham Lambert. Between 1984 and 1989,
Drexel issued almost $1 billion in junk bonds for Days Inns. The debt load
was so heavy that Silverman joked to one interviewer that Days Inns was
"like Mexico. We don't pay down debt, we just reschedule it."
In November 1989, Reliance and its backers sold their interest in
Days Inns to Tollman-Hundley Lodging, Corp. for $87 million, of which $8
million was in cash and the rest in junk bonds from Drexel Burnham
Lambert. Tollman-Hundley also agreed to assume the company's $620 million
debt, for a total price of $765 million. According to the November 25,
1991 edition of Forbes, Reliance made a profit of $126 million and
Silverman's personal share of the profit amounted to $5 million. Reliance
and Silverman escaped from Days Inns just in time. In 1990 Tollman-Hundley
could not refinance the company's mounting debt load and short
amortization schedule. In September 1991, Days Inns filed for protection
under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.
(ii) In the fall of 1995, HFS announced that it had invested in
Amre, Inc., a Dallas-based installer of vinyl siding and roofs on homes.
SEC filings show that HFS acquired a 2% equity stake in the company. With
the deal, Amre began to sell its products under HFS' Century 21 brand
name. Between the fall of 1995 and the spring of 1996, Amre's stock price
rose from $5 a share to $28.75 a share. In the fall of 1995, a new
management team, including three HFS officers, was brought in to run the
company. In September 1996, the company sold 1.1 million shares of stock
to the public at $16 a share.
But in October 1996, the company announced that it had lost $10.9
million in its third quarter. The company predicted a significant loss in
the fourth quarter because of high marketing expenses and a low order
backlog. On January 17, 1998, Amre filed for bankruptcy protection.
Trading in the company's stock was suspended, with the stock being last
quoted at 43.75 cents a share. HFS wrote off its investment in Amre, Inc.,
and took a charge of $9.5 million on amounts owed to HFS by Amre.
(iii) On December 24, 1986, Reliance Capital Group L.P., headed by
Henry Silverman, completed an acquisition of 100% of the outstanding stock
of John Blair & Co. for $283.5 million. The purchase was financed with
$226 million in junk bonds by Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. Blair was
subsequently merged into a subsidiary of Reliance and renamed John Blair &
Company. On April 10, 1987, the company was renamed Telemundo Group, Inc.
("Telemundo"). Silverman served as the company's chairman from October
1986 to January 1987, then president and CEO of Telemundo from February
1987 to February 1990. As of August 1987, Reliance Capital Group L.P.
controlled 85% of all Telemundo shares outstanding.
Drexel Burnham Lambert also held a significant equity stake in
Telemundo. According to SEC filings, in August 1987 Reliance had
dispositive power over 538,587 shares of Telemundo stock held by Drexel
Reliance Capital Group Partnership (DRCGP), a general partnership entity
consisting of "an affiliate of Drexel Burnham Lambert, certain Drexel
employees, and a partnership consisting of Drexel employees." DRCGP had a
50% equity interest in Reliance Associates, the general partner of
Reliance Capital Group L.P. Andrew R. Heyer, a managing director of
Drexel, was a director of Telemundo.
Saddled with $189 million in debt following Reliance's purchase of
the company and the purchase of the formerly Reliance-owned
Spanish-language television stations in Los Angeles and New York, in the
first six months of 1987 the company lost $26.3 million. In addition, the
company had a working capital deficit of $48.4 million. At the same time
that Telemundo was acquiring television properties, the company began an
accelerated program to dispose of virtually all other assets that it had
inherited from John Blair & Co.
Articles that appeared in the financial press at the time reported
that the once proud John Blair & Company was being systematically
dismantled. One article stated that this dismantlement was "reversing five
years of expansion. As a result, what might have been a billion-dollar
corporation a few years away will end up with operations producing less
than a hundred million dollars." "Moving and Shaking at John Blair & Co.,"
Broadcasting, November 24, 1986.
The material effect on the company's finances of carrying so much
debt were immediately felt. According to a August 10, 1987 Business Week
article, "Telemundo owes so much while earning so little that it pays out
more in cash for interest than it makes." Robert Barker, His Hispanic TV
Network is Going Public, Though Profits are Absent, August 10, 1987, at
Henry Silverman left Reliance Capital Corp. in January 1990 to
become a general partner at The Blackstone Group in New York City, but he
remained a director of Telemundo Group.
On January 15, 1992, Telemundo announced that it was developing a
financial restructuring plan in order to reduce the company's $250 million
long-term debt. From that date onwards, Telemundo ceased making interest
payments on its outstanding debt, and failed to make principal payments
upon their maturity. As of mid 1993, Telemundo had defaulted on all of its
debt, which totaled $309 million as of December 31, 1993.
On June 8, 1993, Telemundo's creditors filed an involuntary petition
under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code against Telemundo in U.S.
Bankruptcy Court in New York City. On July 30, 1993, Telemundo consented
to the entry of an order for relief under Chapter 11 of the federal
The 1987 purchase of Blair assets resulted in a 1990 federal action
commenced by the John Blair Communication, Inc. Profit Sharing Plan
alleging that the Telemundo Group Profit Sharing Plan, its committee and
committee members, including Silverman, breached their fiduciary duties
under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended
("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. ss. 1001 et seq. Plaintiffs claimed, inter alia that
defendants failed to credit appreciation of assets between the valuation
date and the dates on which the transfer of plan assets was effected in
connection with the acquisition. On June 15, 1994, the United States Court
of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the defendants -- including
Henry Silverman -- violated ss. 208 of ERISA and their fiduciary duties by
failing to transfer gains between the valuation date and the dates of
actual transfers. The Court also held that defendants -- including Henry
Silverman -- violated ss. 404 of ERISA and their fiduciary duties by
keeping for Telemundo's pension plan the surplus income earned during
Telemundo's delay in transferring assets from an equity fund to a short
term investment fund pursuant to elections of new plan members.
f. Insurance regulators want assurances that management obtaining
control of insurance companies can manage them. Silverman's companies have
been hit with allegations of poor management:
"After Silverman buys a company he slashes expenses and hits
the road to sign up independent operators and to entice
franchisees of other chains to switch flags. Then he sits back
to collect royalties of between 6% and 8.8% of room revenues.
Industry watchers criticize him for running shlocky, unsafe
hotels. 'Just show him a door, and he'll give you a franchise'
carps one critic."
Faye Rice, Why Hotel Rates Won't Take Off -- Yet, Fortune, Oct. 4, 1993,
at 125. According to a January 16, 1995 article in USA Today, critics of
Silverman have said that "[I]n the drive for bigger profits. . .
[Silverman] slowly damages hotel chains' reputations by selling franchises
to hotels that don't meet standards. Over time, they say, travelers will
lose faith in the chains because of bad experiences with individual
g. Various published reports refer to decreases in quality of the
lodging operations as a result of Cendant's franchising strategy, and
quality complaints have increased as a result of Cendant's aggressive
financing campaign. In 1994, the magazine Consumer Reports rated Cendant's
Howard Johnson and Ramada chains the two worst chains in the moderately
priced category. Previous Consumer Reports (September 1990) had rated
Ramada as the third best and Howard Johnson as the fourth best chains in
this category. One franchise holder, who owns three Super 8 motels for
HFS, was quoted by USA Today on January 16, 1995 as saying "Super 8 is a
wonderful organization and (Silverman) is ruining it. At some point, Mr.
Silverman will know when to get out and
he'll leave the rest of the shareholders holding the bag." Plainly,
Silverman's prior affiliation with companies that have gone into
bankruptcy and allegations of poor management will be the subject of
detailed investigation by state insurance regulators. No such issues exist
with respect to approval of the AIG Merger by state insurance regulators.
h. Cendant has limited experience in the business of insurance and
clearly does not have the level and degree of experience of AIG. In one
recent filing with the Texas State Insurance department, Cendant reports
that it markets -- but does not underwrite -- accidental death and
dismemberment and accident insurance policies. Cendant acknowledges that
it "primarily engages in three business segments: membership services,
travel and real estate" -- none of which is related to insurance. Cendant
Form 8-K, Exh. 99.1 at 15. Indeed, Cendant has been publicly disdainful of
the requirement that it be competent to run an insurance company, an
attitude certain to concern insurance regulators. Walter Forbes of Cendant
was reported in the February 4, 1998 Miami Herald as "refut[ing] the
notion that to sell insurance you have to be in insurance":
"To us, its marketing. We're a direct marketer, and we're
getting more customers every day. Anybody can provide
insurance, but you've got to be able to sell it."
Moreover, Cendant's recent proposed acquisition of an insurance company
-- Providian Auto and Home Insurance Company ("Providian") -- does not
increase Cendant's experience in the insurance business. First, Cendant
has not completed the
acquisition, and hence has no experience running Providian, only
experience acquiring it: nobody doubts Henry Silverman's ability to
acquire companies, only his ability to run them. Second, Providian and its
property and casualty subsidiaries, "which predominately market personal
automobile insurance through direct marketing channels" in 45 states and
the District of Columbia, has a relatively narrow market presence. By
contrast, AIG is a holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is
primarily engaged in a broad range of insurance and insurance-related
activities and financial services in the United States and abroad,
including both general and life insurance operations. AIG's general
insurance operations are among the largest in the United States, and its
international property-casualty network and life insurance operations are
the most extensive of any U.S.-based insurance holding company. State
insurance regulators will have to examine Cendant's insurance experience
carefully (and compare it to AIG's) before approving any merger with
Cendant Has Falsely Contended That It Can
Achieve Outlandish Sales Growth and "Synergies".
26. During the January 27 Analysts Call, Silverman stated that: "We think
we can add several million new policies outside the U.S. over the next few
years." This statement is knowingly false because the addition of "several
million new policies" in just a "few years" outside the United States is a
virtually impossible task for a company that does not have an international
insurance marketing network and is not in the business of general and life
insurance. Silverman's statement was plainly designed to deceive shareholders
into thinking that
Cendant is in the insurance business and that such a massive
task could be performed easily and without any problem in merely a "few years."
27. During the January 27 Analysts Call, Silverman also stated that:
"And forward, the combination of our companies should result
in considerable cost savings. While we expect to maintain ABI's
operations substantially as they are today, direct marketing is a
volume game. Direct mail, call center and telecommunications costs
should all fall on a per-unit basis. In tele, we've already
identified about $140 million of pre-tax synergies, which is about
10 cents per Cendant share. Now, please note, this is (1) without
any due diligence, and (2) assumes no reduction in head count or
facilities. These gains come from using our distribution system to
increase ABI's product penetration in the U.S. and in international
28. Silverman's representation that $140 million in pre-tax synergies
(mostly through increased revenues) would be achieved is knowingly false and
misleading. As Silverman well knows, increasing American Bankers' net premium
revenues necessarily increases certain expenses, such as commissions and
reserves for anticipated claims by holders of new American Bankers policies.
These costs alone have consistently averaged 80% of American Bankers' net
premium income over the last five years. Cendant cannot simply add potential
additional net premiums earned to American Bankers' existing revenues and
characterize them as "synergies." Even accepting Silverman's unsupported
statement that Cendant can increase American Bankers' net premiums without
increasing operating expenses, a $130 million increase in net premiums earned
less commissions and provisions for claims would require that American Bankers'
net premiums earned increase by $650 million -- a 47% increase over 1996 net
premiums earned. Silverman's claim that Cendant can achieve $140 million in
synergies falsely assumes that
American Bankers will incur no corresponding increase in the number of claims
filed against the combined entity. Silverman and Cendant's "synergy" claim is
inflated and unachievable.
Cendant Falsely Claims its Offer Has
"No Financing or Other Significant Conditions"
And Is "On Equal Footing with AIG".
29. Silverman further stated that "[w]e have no financing or other
significant conditions, and we believe we are on equal footing with AIG in all
relevant ways, including timing." Silverman knew his representation was false.
The insurance regulatory approval process for the AIG Merger is much further
along than the approval process for the proposed Cendant Merger. As noted above,
Cendant is not in the business of underwriting insurance and its financial
condition and history is questionable; in short, the regulatory approval process
for the Cendant Merger will prove to be a far greater obstacle than Silverman
chose to disclose. Moreover, contrary to Silverman's statement, the Cendant
Offer is subject to a number of significant conditions, including (i) a
condition that certain provisions of the AIG Merger Agreement be terminated or
declared invalid; (ii) at least 51% of American Bankers' shares must be tendered
under the offer on a fully diluted basis, (iii) antitrust approval under the
Hart-Scott-Rodino Act; (iv) 2/3 approval of American Bankers' shareholders and
majority approval of American Bankers' shareholders or directors of the voting
rights of the shares that Cendant acquires under the Cendant Offer; (v)
satisfaction of American Bankers' supermajority vote specifying that 85% of
shareholders approve the deal (which condition will be satisfied if 75% of the
directors approve the deal); (vi) American Bankers' shareholder rights plan does
not apply to the Cendant Offer; (vii) AIG's option to purchase 19.9% of American
Bankers' stock is not
exercised or is deemed to be invalid; and (viii) Cendant receives all the
required insurance regulatory approvals.
Cendant Commences its Tender Offer
30. On January 28, 1998, Season and Cendant commenced the Cendant Offer
and filed a Tender Offer Statement on Schedule 14D-1. The Schedule 14D-1, which
was disseminated to American Bankers' shareholders, contained a number of
materially false and misleading statements and omissions and repeated several
misleading statements that Silverman had made during the January 27 analysts
call. Specifically, the Schedule 14D-1 disclosed that State Insurance Codes
"provide certain statutory standards for the approval of the acquisition of
control of the Company. The Insurance Codes, however, permit the Insurance
Commissions discretion in determining whether such standards have been met."
(Cendant Schedule 14D-1 at 8, annexed hereto as Exhibit C) The Schedule 14D-1
failed, however, to disclose that Cendant would find it difficult, if not
impossible, to secure regulatory approval, and the reasons why such approval
would be difficult.
31. The Schedule 14D-1 also stated that Season was making an offer to
purchase 51% of the "outstanding shares of American Bankers for $58.00 per
common share in cash." Upon receipt of 51% of American Bankers' shares, Cendant
proposed a tax-free merger pursuant to which each remaining share of American
Bankers stock would be "converted into shares of Cendant common stock having a
value of $58.00." (Cendant Preliminary Proxy Statement, Letter to American
Bankers Shareholders, annexed hereto as Exhibit D) The Schedule 14D-1, however,
states only that it is Cendant's "current intention" -- rather than binding
obligation -- to
offer Cendant's common stock worth $58.00. Cendant should clearly disclose
exactly what stockholders will receive in the Cendant Offering.
32. The Schedule 14D-1 (and subsequent proxy materials) also repeatedly
claimed that American Bankers shareholders would receive $58.00 worth of cash
and stock. However, the Schedule 14D-1 failed to disclose that the partial
currency of the Cendant Merger -- Cendant's common stock -- is likely to be as
volatile as the stock of its predecessor HFS. Thus, the Schedule 14D-1 failed to
disclose that the $58.00 package of cash and securities may be worth much less
in the days and weeks after the Cendant Merger closes. Indeed, on March 7, 1997,
Silverman admitted during a CNN interview that "as a CEO, you have to deal with
the ups and downs of people's emotional fortunes if you will, when our share
prices go up and down, and our stock has been extremely volatile." Transcript
from CNN Business Day, March 7, 1997. The potential volatility of Cendant stock
was most graphically illustrated in 1996 when, upon Silverman's announcement
that he intended to sell up to 5% of his stock, HFS' stock price fell by over
6%. A December 2, 1996 Business Week article highlighted the volatility of HFS'
"Silverman's hold on his fortune is hardly rock solid. After
its dizzying climb, the stock has become stunningly volatile.
When Silverman disclosed on Sept. 3 that he might sell as much
as 5% of his holdings each year for estate-planning purposes,
the stock fell 6.1% on fears he was reducing his role. (In
fact, his compensation plan lets him earn more stock than he
would cash out.) And since the PHH purchase, his biggest
single deal, was announced, the stock has fallen nearly 13%,
closing Nov. 19 at 63 5/8."
Joseph Weber, The Real Artist of the Deal, Business Week, Dec. 2, 1996, at 114.
(A copy of that article is annexed hereto as Exhibit E.) Neither the Schedule
14D-1 nor any of Cendant's public
filings disclose the recent volatility of HFS stock or potential volatility of
Cendant stock, and the serious risk that American Bankers' shareholders may not
get $58.00 per share immediately after the Cendant Merger closes. These are
precisely the types of risks required to be disclosed in a Registration
Statement under the 1933 Act.
33. The Schedule 14D-1 prominently disclosed that the Cendant Offer is
"not conditioned upon purchaser obtaining financing." (Cendant Schedule 14D-1 at
7.) This statement is misleading because Cendant's acquisition company, Season,
plans to obtain funds for the acquisition from a capital contribution from
Cendant, which in turn plans to obtain such funds, in part, from available lines
of credit and a new $1.5 billion 364-day Revolving Credit Facility pursuant to a
commitment letter, dated January 23, 1998, among Cendant and a third party
lender and an affiliate of such lender. The lender's obligations under the
commitment letter are subject to conditions. Plainly, the suggestion that the
Offer is not conditioned on financing is misleading because Cendant's failure to
satisfy the lender's conditions will result in Cendant's inability to finance
the Cendant Offer.
34. The Schedule 14D-1 further fails to disclose that a substantial
portion of Cendant's business is exposed to substantial risks of a business
downturn. Cendant's major lines of business -- motels, car rental, travel and
real estate brokerage -- have reached historic high levels after severe slumps
in the early 1990s. If economic activity slows in the United States, the travel
and travel-related businesses in which Cendant depends for its cash flow will be
affected disproportionally, with severe consequences for Cendant's franchise
revenues. Nor does the Schedule 14D-1 disclose that Cendant's mortgage business
will be adversely affected by a continued decline in interest rates.
Furthermore, the Schedule 14D-1 fails to disclose that
mortgage prepayments and refinancings may shorten the recovery period for
deferred mortgage issuance costs. Again, had Cendant filed a Registration
Statement under the 1933 Act, it would have had to disclose the risks.
35. Neither Cendant's Schedule 14D-1 (nor any subsequent public filings)
disclosed key and material information about Silverman, his checkered business
history, and his affiliation with entities that had declared bankruptcy just
after he left. (See paragraph 19 above). Nor did Cendant's Schedule 14D-1 (or
any other public filings) disclose or explain Cendant's and HFS's strategy of
acquiring businesses with strong cash flows but few tangible assets and the
importance of increased acquisitions of the same type in order to maintain
current high earnings. Thus, the Schedule 14D-1 (and Cendant's later filed
preliminary proxy materials) failed to disclose that a decrease in the number of
such acquisitions would create serious downward pressure on earnings.
Cendant Commences the Solicitation of Proxies Against the AIG Merger.
36. On January 30, 1998, Cendant filed its preliminary proxy statement
("Cendant Preliminary Proxy Statement") with the SEC. Cendant made the Cendant
Preliminary Proxy Statement available to the marketplace and American Bankers'
shareholders by publicly filing it with the SEC. Cendant's Preliminary Proxy
Statement urged American Bankers shareholders to vote against the AIG Merger and
repeated many of the misstatements and omissions previously disseminated by
37. Cendant's Preliminary Proxy Statement thus stated that the "Cendant
offer of $58.00 per common Share represents a premium of $11.00 (in excess of
23%) over the per common share value of AIG's 49.9% cash and 50.1% stock
proposal." (Cedant Preliminary
Proxy Statement, Letter to American Bankers Stockholders.) This statement is
false and misleading because it implies that American Bankers shareholder are
receiving a fixed value for their shares when in fact they are receiving
something far more speculative -- Cendant stock. If the volatility of HFS stock
is any indication, Cendant's stock will be extremely volatile on a going forward
38. The Cendant Preliminary Proxy Statement also refers to the fact that
the board of American Bankers agreed to pay AIG a termination fee of $66 million
under certain circumstances. Although Cendant states that "the AIG Termination
Fee constitutes a significant obstacle to your receiving the maximum value for
your Share" (Cendant Preliminary Proxy Statement at 8), the proxy materials fail
to disclose that termination fees are appropriate, customary and usual in such
transactions and that the $66 million fee is eminently reasonable in the context
of a $2.2 billion transaction. Indeed, in responding to the question by a
securities analyst on January 27, 1998 whether the option to purchase 19.9% of
American Bankers' common stock or the termination fee would "create a problem
for Cendant in its acquisition of [American Bankers'] shares," Henry Silverman
"No, it's just money. The contract with ABI provides that AIG
is limited to the higher of the profit on their stock, if any,
or $66 million as a break-up fee . . . sorry, the lower of . .
. they're capped at $66 million. So really, it's just a
Clearly, Cendant says what suits its purpose, even if what it proposes to say to
shareholders is exactly contradicted by what it tells its friends in the
(Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act)
39. AIG and AIGF repeat and reallege paragraphs 1 through 38 as if set
40. Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act provides that it is unlawful to use
the mails or any means or instrumentality of interstate commerce to solicit
proxies in contravention of any rule promulgated by the SEC. 15 U.S.C.
41. Rule 14a-9 provides in pertinent part:
"No solicitation subject to this regulation shall be made by means
of any . . . communication, written or oral, containing any
statement which, at the time, and in light of the circumstances
under which it is made, is false and misleading with respect to any
material fact, or which omits to state any material fact necessary
in order to make the statements therein not false or misleading . .
17 C.F.R. ss.240.14a-9.
42. Each of the false and misleading statements by Cendant, Season and
Silverman detailed above is a statement made under circumstances reasonably
calculated to result in the procurement of proxies or votes from American
Bankers shareholders. As such, those statements are subject to the strictures of
Section 14(a) and Rule 14a-9.
43. Each of the false and misleading statements detailed above were and
are material to the decisions of American Bankers' shareholders concerning
whether to vote for or against the AIG Merger, since such false and misleading
statements are intended to suggest, and do suggest, that the AIG Merger is not a
viable or realistic transaction and is not in the best interest of American
Bankers' shareholders and that if American Bankers' shareholders vote to tender
their shares into the Cendant Offer, they will be voting for a superior
44. Cendant and Seasons made each of the false and misleading statements
detailed above intentionally and with knowledge of their falsity and misleading
nature for the purpose of inducing American Bankers' shareholders to vote
against the AIG Merger and tender their shares into the Cendant Offer.
45. Cendant and Season's false and misleading statements described above
are essential links in plaintiff's efforts to consummate a combination of
Cendant with American Bankers at whatever cost to American Bankers' shareholders
and have injured -- and are continuing to injure -- AIG, AIGF and American
Bankers' other shareholders.
46. AIG and AIGF have no adequate remedy at law.
(Section 14(e) of the Exchange Act)
47. AIG and AIGF repeat and reallege paragraphs 1 through 38 as if set
48. Section 14(e) of the Exchange Act provides that:
It shall be unlawful for any person to make any untrue statement of
a material fact or omit to state any material fact necessary in
order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances
under which they are made, not misleading, or to engage in any
fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative acts or practices, in
connection with any tender offer or request or invitation for
tenders, or any solicitation of security holders in opposition to or
in favor of any such offer, request, or invitation.
15 U.S.C. ss. 78n(e).
49. Each of the false and misleading statements and omissions by Cendant,
Season and Silverman detailed above are statements made under circumstances
reasonably calculated to
result in the tender of American Bankers shares from American Bankers
shareholders into the Cendant Offer. As such, those statements are subject to
the strictures of Section 14(e).
50. Each of the false and misleading statements detailed above was and is
material to the decisions of American Bankers' shareholders concerning whether
to vote for or against the AIG Merger and to tender their shares into the
Cendant Offer, since such false and misleading statements are intended to
suggest, and do suggest, that the AIG Merger is not a viable or realistic
transaction and is not in the best interest of American Bankers' shareholders
and that if American Bankers' shareholders vote against the AIG Merger and
tender their shares into the Cendant Offer, they will be voting for a superior
51. Cendant and Seasons made each of the false and misleading statements
detailed above intentionally and with knowledge of their falsity and misleading
nature for the purpose of inducing American Bankers' shareholders to vote
against the AIG Merger and tender their shares into the Cendant Offer.
52. Cendant and Season's false and misleading statements described above
are essential links in plaintiff's efforts to consummate a combination of
Cendant with American Bankers at whatever cost to American Bankers' shareholders
and have injured -- and are continuing to injure -- AIG, AIGF and American
Bankers' other shareholders.
53. AIG and AIGF have no adequate remedy at law.
(Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act based upon violation of Section 5 of the 1933
54. AIG and AIGF repeat and reallege paragraphs 1 through 38 as if set
55. Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 provides that --
"a. Unless a registration statement is in effect as to a security,
it shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly:
(1) to make use of any means or instruments of transportation
or communication in interstate commerce or of the mails to sell such
security through the use or medium of any prospectus or otherwise;
(2) to carry or cause to be carried through the mails or in
interstate commerce, by any means or instruments of transportation,
any such security for the purpose of sale or for delivery after
. . .
c. It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to
make use of any means or instruments of transportation or communication in
interstate commerce or of the mails to offer to sell or offer to buy
through the use or medium of any prospectus or otherwise any security,
unless a registration statement has been filed as to such security, or
while the registration statement is the subject of a refusal order or stop
order or (prior to the effective date of the registration statement) any
public proceeding or examination under Section ."
15 U.S.C. ss.ss. 77e(a) and (c).
56. On August 4, 1997, the Division of Corporate Finance of the Securities
and Exchange Commission ("SEC") issued a release entitled "Current Issues and
Rulemaking Projects" addressing the very circumstances presented here. See SEC
Release (Aug. 4, 1997) the ("SEC Release"). The SEC release unambiguously stated
(with emphasis added):
In some cases involving a negotiated "friendly" merger or other
business combination between a registrant and another entity (or
person) that has been submitted to a shareholder vote, a third party
may wish to present a competing proposal that would involve
acceptance of the third party's securities as consideration (e.g.,
through an exchange offer or merger). Before commencing its own,
competing transaction, however, the third party may wish to solicit
in opposition to the "friendly" transaction then pending before the
target company's shareholders. In such a case, the third party
should remain mindful that, depending on the facts and
circumstances, communications regarding its "competing" bid may be
deemed an "offer to sell" the third party's securities that triggers
the application of the registration requirements of the Securities
Act, particularly where such communications refer to the price
and/or other material terms of the potential competing transaction.
. . . .
In cases where the third party's solicitations trigger
compliance with the registration and prospectus delivery provisions
of the Securities Act, the third party should file promptly its
registration statement to cover the securities offering to target
57. Since January 27, 1998, Cendant and Silverman have made a number of
statements concerning the AIG Merger and the alleged superiority of the Cendant
Offer over the AIG Merger. Such statements included statements in press
releases, statements by Silverman made to analysts on January 27 and preliminary
proxy materials filed with the SEC on January 30, 1998. Such statements were not
merely limited to factual information about Cendant and a brief description of
the Cendant Offer and Cendant Merger, but went much further and advocated the
alleged superiority of the price being offered by Cendant and other material
terms of the proposed transaction.
58. Cendant and Silverman's statements regarding the alleged superiority
of the Cendant Offer and their urging securityholders to vote against the AIG
Merger, in substance, constituted an "offer to sell" securities that would be
issued in connection with the Cendant Merger. However, no registration statement
has been filed, and no prospectus has been delivered to American Bankers'
shareholders, with respect to those securities. Accordingly, Cendant and
Silverman have violated both Section 5 of the 1933 Act and Section 14(a) of the
59. AIG and American Bankers' shareholders have been injured by Cendant's
and Silverman's repeated and continued violations of Section 5 of the 1933 Act
and resultant violation of Section 14(a) of the 1934 Act.
60. AIG and American Bankers' shareholders have no adequate remedy at law
and the Court should issue an order halting any reference by Cendant or Season
to the Cendant Offer or Cendant Merger until Cedant files a registration
statement and delivers a prospectus to American Bankers' shareholders.
WHEREFORE, plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court enter judgment
Declaring that Cendant and Season have violated Sections 14(a) and
14(e) of the Exchange Act and Rule 14a-9 promulgated thereunder and
requiring that each of them make prompt corrective disclosures;
Enjoining Cendant and Season, and their agents and employees,
preliminarily and permanently, from further violating Sections 14(a) and
14(e) of the Exchange Act and Rule 14a-9;
Declaring that Cendant, Season, and their agents and employees have
violated Section 14(a) of the Exchange Act through violating Section 5 of
the 1933 Act by offering to sell securities without filing a registration
statement and enjoining Cendant and Season (or any of their agents or
employees) from making any statements regarding the AIG Merger, the
Cendant Offer, or the Cedant Merger until a registration statement has
been filed and a prospectus has been delivered to American Bankers'
Awarding AIG and AIGF the costs and disbursements of this action
together with reasonable attorneys' fees; and
Awarding AIG and AIGF such other and further relief as the Court may
deem just and proper.
Dated: February 5, 1998
STEEL HECTOR & DAVIS LLP
200 South Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, Florida 33131-2398
Of Counsel: (305) 557-2957 Telephone
(305) 577-7001 Facsimile
Richard H. Klapper
Stephanie G. Wheeler By:
SULLIVAN & CROMWELL ------------------------------
125 Broad Street Lewis F. Murphy, P.A.
New York, New York 10004 Florida Bar No. 308455
(212) 558-3588 Facsimile Attorneys for Defendants
American International Group, Inc.
and AIGF, Inc.
[ ] Preliminary Proxy Statement [ ] Confidential, for Use of the Commission
Only (as permitted by Rule 14A-6(e)(2))
[ ] Definitive Proxy Statement
[ ] Definitive Additional Materials
[X] Soliciting Material Pursuant to Section 240.14a-11(c) or Section 240.14a-12