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Levi & Korsinsky, LLP has commenced an investigation into the fairness of the merger of Asta Funding, Inc. (“Asta” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ASFI) with the Stern Group, a controlling group comprised of Gary Stern (Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company), Ricky Stern, and certain related parties. Under the terms of the proposed merger, shareholders of Asta will receive $11.47 in cash for each share that they own.
On May 22, 2020 RBF Capital LLC (“RBF”) reported to be a holder of 8.8% of the Asta’s common stock, sent a letter to the Asta Board of Directors, proposing to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Asta not currently held by RBF for a price of $13.00 per share in cash (the “May 20 Letter”; and such proposal, the “Proposal”), representing a 13% premium to the Stern Group’s proposed purchase price. Despite the facially superior terms of this proposal, the Asta Board has not publicly responded to it.
The Asta merger investigation seeks to determine whether the Asta Board or the Stern Group are breaching their fiduciary duties to minority stockholders by paying an unfair price or preventing the public stockholders from receiving the benefit of a superior offer.
The Asta merger investigation concerns whether the Board of Asta breached their fiduciary duties to stockholders by failing to adequately shop the Company before agreeing to enter into this transaction and whether the Stern Group is underpaying for Asta shares, thus unlawfully harming Asta shareholders.
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