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Tech Data had other suitors besides Warren Buffett

Apollo Global Management has been trying to buy Tech Data for a year and a half. Along the way, four other companies were interested, too. Two made offers.
Tech Data CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with his predecessor, Bob Dutkowsky, during a send-off celebration for Dutkowsky on June 7, 2018 at the company's 
 headquarters in Largo. At the time, Tech Data had already received the first in what would become a series of purchase offers from New York-based private equity giant Apollo Global Management. Along the way, Dutkowsky would play a key role in negotiations with Apollo. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times (2018)
Tech Data CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with his predecessor, Bob Dutkowsky, during a send-off celebration for Dutkowsky on June 7, 2018 at the company's headquarters in Largo. At the time, Tech Data had already received the first in what would become a series of purchase offers from New York-based private equity giant Apollo Global Management. Along the way, Dutkowsky would play a key role in negotiations with Apollo. JIM DAMASKE | Times (2018)
Published Dec. 13, 2019
Updated Dec. 13, 2019

LARGO — News of Apollo Global Management’s offer to buy Tech Data first broke in October, but the New York private equity firm has been trying to buy Tech Data since the spring of 2018, according to a new regulatory filing.

The filing confirms billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made a rival bid. And it reveals the existence of other suitors for Tech Data, a global technology distributor and one of the Tampa Bay area’s biggest homegrown companies.

If shareholders approve, the $6 billion sale to Apollo is scheduled to close the first half of next year. Here are some key dates on Tech Data’s path so far:

March 2018 — Apollo contacts Tech Data then-CEO Robert Dutkowsky about a possible investment.

June 1, 2018 — Apollo proposes to buy Tech Data for $105 to $110 per share of common stock, then trading at about $88 per share. No thanks, Tech Data says, unless the offer is $120 per share.

June 7, 2018 — Rich Hume becomes Tech Data CEO. Dutkowsky remains on the board of directors as executive chairman. He tells the Tampa Bay Times he will be available "to be engaged in big projects.”

RELATED: A rare day at Tech Data as one CEO hands leadership of the company to the next

July 23, 2018 — Apollo offers $120 per share.

Aug. 28, 2018 — Apollo drops its offer. Discussions end.

July 18, 2019 — Nearly a year later, Apollo reaches out again. Dutkowsky has dinner with Apollo executives. Later that month, Tech Data’s second-quarter earnings beat expectations. Tech Data’s stock price jumps to about $95 a share.

RELATED: Tech Data’s stock price jumps on ‘outstanding’ quarterly report

Sept. 24, 2019 — Apollo again offers $120 per share. Tech Data’s board again decides, no thanks. Dutkowsky tells Apollo there would be no further talks without a more compelling offer.

Oct. 1, 2019 — Apollo offers $130 per share. Tech Data agrees to talk but says due diligence must be done by Nov. 11.

Oct. 15, 2019 — Reuters reports Apollo’s offer. Soon two other suitors (identified as “Financial Sponsor A” and “Financial Sponsor B”) reach out to Tech Data.

Oct. 25, 2019 — Financial Sponsor A makes a non-binding proposal to buy Tech Data for $130 per share.

Nov. 5, 2019 — Financial Sponsor A isn’t close to making a firm offer. B is no longer interested. A third prospect, “Financial Sponsor C,” expresses interest but needs significant time for research.

Nov. 12, 2019 — Tech Data’s board agrees to merge with Apollo. The deal includes a “go-shop” period allowing Tech Data to solicit other offers through Dec. 11.

Nov. 13, 2019 — Tech Data announces the sale. Its financial advisers contact 60 companies, including the three that had already expressed interest in Tech Data.

Nov. 22, 2019 — Hume meets with a Berkshire Hathaway representative.

Nov. 23, 2019 — Berkshire offers $140 per share.

Nov. 27, 2019 — Apollo raises its offer to $145 per share. Berkshire bows out.

Dec. 11, 2019 — The go-shop period expires.

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