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Howard Stutz

Kerkorian halts bid for shares

29 November 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- MGM Mirage majority shareholder Kirk Kerkorian dropped his month-old bid to acquire additional shares of a San Antonio-based petroleum refining corporation after the company's board adopted a poison-pill anti-takeover defense.

The 90-year-old Los Angeles billionaire, who already holds almost 4 percent of Tesoro Corp. through Tracinda, his wholly owned investment subsidiary, sought to purchase an additional 16 percent stake in the company for $64 a share, a cash tender offer of $1.4 billion. The transaction was set to expire Dec. 6.

Last week, Tesoro's board adopted a shareholder's right's plan that reduced the likelihood that a potential purchaser could gain control of the company through an open market accumulation of stock.

The Tracinda deal would not have triggered the plan because Kerkorian would have held just less than 20 percent.

In a statement, Tracinda called the plan "Draconian" and "inhibits value for all Tesoro shareholders by, among other things, restricting the ability of shareholders to vote, sell or acquire Tesoro shares freely."

Kerkorian, who controls 54 percent of MGM Mirage, has invested over the years in the automotive, film and airline industries. This fall, Kerkorian rose 19 places to No. 7 on the Forbes list of richest Americans, with an estimated net worth of $18 billion, due largely to investment gains from MGM Mirage.

Kerkorian halts bid for shares is republished from