MathStar Receives Another Merger Offer from Twice Spurned Suitor

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MathStar Inc (NYSEARCA:MATH) has received another merger offer from PureChoice, Inc., this one providing for a $1.04 per share cash payment to the MATH stockholders.

We’ve been following MATH since December last year (see our post archive here) when it was trading at $0.68. We initiated the position because MATH was trading below its net cash value and had two substantial stockholders lobbying management to liquidate. The stock is up 33.8% to $0.91 yesterday, giving it a market capitalization of $8.4M. We estimate MATH’s liquidation value to be around $12.0M or $1.31 per share. That value is predominantly cash and short term investments and doesn’t take into account any further value that the sale of the FPOA technology and intellectual property may yield. The two activist investors, Mr. Zachary McAdoo of The Zanett Group and Mr. Salvatore Muoio of S. Muoio & Co., have been urging MATH’s board to consider liquidation rather than a merger. MATH’s board seems to agree, twice rejecting unsolicited merger proposals from PureChoice, Inc., suspending the company’s operations and exploring “strategic alternatives, which could include merger, acquisition, increasing operations in another structure or liquidation.”

The press release from PureChoice, Inc. (via Earth Times) is as follows:

BURNSVILLE, Minn., May 11 /PRNewswire/ — PureChoice, Inc., a leader in building performance software, has made a merger offer to MathStar, Inc. providing for a $1.04 per share cash payment to the MathStar stockholders. The offer represents a 23 percent premium over Friday, May 8, 2009 market close of $.84 per share.

The merger offer was outlined Monday in a letter to the MathStar board of directors from Bryan Reichel, President and CEO of PureChoice.

The merger offer is contingent upon several factors, including minimum MathStar cash balances and maximum MathStar liabilities at closing, and the absence of certain specified transactions, commitments or other arrangements between January 1, 2009 and the closing date.

We need to see the full terms of the offer, but it seems to be pitched at a large discount to MATH’s liquidation value. We would hope that any merger offer would, at the minimum, reflect MATH’s liquidation value of $12.0M or $1.31 per share. We’ll keep a weather eye on the negotiations.

Full Disclosure: We do not have a holding in MATH. This is neither a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. All information provided believed to be reliable and presented for information purposes only. Do your own research before investing in any security.