A federal judge in Ohio has blocked until Tuesday any legal action to use Ohio's anti-takeover law in the battle for Federated Department Stores, the Cincinnati-based parent of Bullock's department stores and Ralphs supermarket chain.
The judge acted at the request of Campeau Corp., the Toronto-based developer that earlier this week launched a hostile $4.2-billion offer for Federated.
The court order issued Thursday apparently put on hold actions brought by Federated in state court in Ohio until a Tuesday morning hearing before Judge Carl B. Rubin, chief judge in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.
Separately, Robert Campeau reiterated to Federated that he is willing to discuss "all aspects of our offer, including price." In a letter to Federated Chairman Howard Goldfeder, the Canadian executive said:
"It has been widely reported that you are considering entering into certain extraordinary corporate transactions in order to block stockholder consideration of our all-cash ($47-a-share) offer for all Federated shares. . . . We believe that the Federated board of directors cannot, consistent with its responsibility to stockholders, take any action without giving us a full opportunity to compete with any other transaction involving Federated."
Campeau added that he is confident that his company could devise a deal that has "the greatest value for Federated's stockholders."