Departing From The Usual Playbook

New York Times BUSINESS Tuesday, June 3 2014

Departing From Usual Playbook in Pursuit of Allergan

Bidders Chart Odd Path, Then Change Their Tack, By David Gelles

“From the moment it was announced, the $53 billion joint bid for Allergan, the maker of Botox, made by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and the hedge fund manager William A. Ackman, was highly unconventional.

It was the first time an activist investor had teamed with a strategic buyer.  Mr. Ackman quickly accumulated Allergan shares, stirring debate over the long reporting window for such stock buildups.  And it was a rare unsolicited offer in an age when most big mergers are agreed on.

Yet in the last week, Valeant and Mr. Ackman have turned an already unusual deal into one of the most confounding takeover attempts in recent memory.  Their tactics have often departed from the established playbook, and at times have appeared counterproductive.  And after they offered a succession of revised proposals, changed tactics, and made public presentations, the fate  of Allegan remained no more certain than it was in April, when the process began.”

There are actually two sports idioms in this article, as quoted:  playbook and tack.  Playbook is a book of strategies: a compendium of plays for the team, whether football or other sports.  However, it is so common, that it is used in other speech, such as business and dating.  Tack, from sailing, is also widely used.  A tack is a change in direction.




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