Cramer to CEOs: Just Say Yes

Utility company Exelon this morning made a bid for NRG Energy at a 37% premium to Friday’s closing price. Cramer, during Monday’s Mad Money, urged NRG CEO David Crane to accept (before Exelon gets hostile).

Cramer’s take: This market’s just too volatile for CEOs to be turning down takeover offers. A buyout might be the best way, at least for right now, to deliver value to shareholders.

Need proof? Just look at Take-Two Interactive, International Rectifier and Diebold. All three rejected bids for as much as 65% more than the company’s stock price at the time. Now they’re not trading anywhere near that offer price, if not lower. Such poor stewardship left Cramer no choice but to add these companies’ CEOs – Strauss Zelnick, Oleg Khaykin and John Lauer, respectively – to the Wall of Shame.

If you’re wondering why Cramer hadn’t mentioned Yahoo!’s Jerry Yang and his refusal to merge with Microsoft, it’s because Yang is already on the Wall. In fact, he’s at the very top after saying no to $31 a share and then watching YHOO sink to $13.

Cramer’s message was clear: CEOs need to just say yes when a potential suitor drops a nice premium takeover bid on the table. In this market – maybe even in any market – it’s the right thing to do.

Oh, and to make room for the aforementioned three kings of M&A, Cramer removed Sallie Mae’s Albert Lord from the Wall of Shame. Lord didn’t do anything to warrant the removal, but he doesn’t need Cramer to shame him. Just look at the stock price: Sallie Mae was at $17.30 when Lord was added to the Wall. Now SLM is at $10.73.

Questions for Cramer?

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website?