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BFGoodrich And Coltec Merger Delayed By AlliedSignal And Crane Lawsuits

sThe BFGoodrich Co., Richfield, Ohio, and Coltec Industries Inc., Charlotte, N.C., recently announced that their proposed merger received clearance by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements of 1976. The antitrust clearance satisfies an important condition to closing the transaction.The review process involved more than four months of analysis by the FTC and included significant support and input from several large customers, including the Department of Defense, said Terrence G. Linnert, BFGoodrich senior vice president and general counsel at the time the clearance was granted. The favorable decision came is spite of concerted efforts by both AlliedSignal and Crane Co., competitors of BFGoodrich, to convince the Department of Defense and the FTC to oppose the transaction.According to Linnert, both AlliedSignal and Crane have sought to interfere with the merger through the judicial system.Crane brought a lawsuit in December 1998, which was dismissed as lacking merit both at trial and on appeal. In February 1999, AlliedSignal sued on antitrust and other grounds. Crane subsequently filed a second federal court action, which was consolidated with AlliedSignals pending lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Indiana.BFGoodrich and Coltec reached an agreement with AlliedSignal in April that the companies would not close the merger until the court rules on pending motions to dismiss and to transfer certain issues of arbitration.At the end of April, the U.S. District Court of Indiana granted AlliedSignal a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit involving the merger.This ruling gives the judge the opportunity to consider the merits of the case at a hearing beginning on July 12, Linnert said. While disappointed, we remain confident that we will complete the merger, particularly given the fact that the FTC has cleared the transaction.BFGoodrich and Coltec filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, challenging the preliminary injunction order issued by the court in Indiana, asking for expedited review.The facts in this lawsuit did not warrant the issuance of a preliminary injunction and, in any event, all of AlliedSignals claims against Coltec should be resolved in arbitration, Linnert said.


June 1999




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