EGL Agrees To $1.7B Buyout By CEO-Led Group

Shipping company EGL said on Monday it has agreed to a management-led buyout worth $1.7 billion.

EGL shareholders will receive $38 a share, $2 more than a previous buyout proposal in December. The Houston-based company said the price represents a 27%premium over its shares' $29.78 closing price on December 29, the last trading day before the original proposal.

The buyout group is made up of EGL Chief Executive Officer James Crane, who is the company's largest shareholder; private equity firm Centerbridge Partners; and Woodbridge Co., an investment group formed by Canada's Thomson family.

EGL said the deal would likely close in the second or third quarter.

On Friday, EGL shares closed at $34.96 on the Nasdaq. The shares have traded as high as $53.80 and as low as $28.57 over the past 12 months.

Management-led buyout offers are becoming more popular, helped in part by the large amount of private equity money willing to partner on such deals.

The original $36-a-share bid by Crane, with backing from General Atlantic, fell apart in February after his partner backed out due to weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results at EGL.