Market Overview

Epiq Systems, Inc. Up Sharply, Hedge Fund Confirms 17% Stake


Epiq Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: EPIQ) shares gained sharply Monday after a hedge fund confirmed that it boosted its stake in the Kansas City provider of software to the law industry to nearly 17 percent, from 4.9 percent.

The fund, P2 Capital and headed by Claus Moller, said in the same filing Monday it had made a $20 per share bid that was spurned earlier this month by Epiq.

P2's offer was rejected September 16, two days before Epiq announced it launched a strategic review and adopted a so-called poison pill plan aimed at deterring hostile takeover bids.

Meanwhile, St. Denis J. Villere & Co. had threatened a proxy battle for control of Epiq in a September 5 letter that suggested the company consider going private.

In the recent quarter Epiq revenue fell because of a cyclical downturn in bankruptcy cases, as well as a difficult comparison with a year earlier for its class action administration segment, the company has said.

Management turmoil has beset Epiq in recent months, with the resignation of Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth M. Braham in March and the resignation of Christopher E. Olofson as vice chairman in June.

Olofson, the son of Epiq Chairman and CEO Tom W. Olofson, had taken the vice chairman role only a month earlier, after previously getting named co-chief operating officer in January.

Tom Olofson has served as chairman and chief executive since 1988 when he lead a led a private investor group that acquired the company.

Epiq traded recently at $18.60 per share, up 7.6 percent.

Posted-In: Claus MollerM&A News Hedge Funds Management Intraday Update Movers General


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