Signet's Deal for Zales May Be Done in by Bank of America’s Conflicts
Signet's $1.4 billion acquisition of the Zale Corporation looks increasingly beleaguered in the wake of opposition by the investment group TIG Advisors, Zale's second-largest shareholder. Opposing a takeover as being underpriced is nothing new. But what's surprising is that Zale's financial adviser, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, has given an unexpected assist to the deal's opponents by failing to disclose to Zale's board a potential conflict of interest. In February, Signet Jewelers, which owns the Kay and Jared jewelry-store chains, announced that it had reached a deal to buy Zale for $21 a share, or $1.4 billion.