A “Saturday night special” (or “blitzkrieg") is a surprise takeover attempt. In 1975, Colt Industries (manufacturer of guns) attempted what would be a successful takeover of Garlock Inc., a gasket maker. In a New York (NY) Times advertisement on November 21, 1975, Garlock’s chairman told Colt, “WE DON’T THINK YOUR RUSH ‘SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL’ TENDER OFFER IS A CREDIT TO AMERICAN BUSINESS AND WE DON’T THINK IT’S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR STOCKHOLDERS.”
The December 1, 1978 New York Times credited the term ‘Saturday night special” to Richard Cheney, a public relations man at Hill & Knowlton. Laws have been passed adding rules for tender offers, making “Saturday night special” an almost obsolete term today.
What Does Saturday Night Special Mean?
A slang term used to refer to a surprise takeover attempt.
Investopedia explains Saturday Night Special
The term alludes to the fact that many takeover bids are announced over the weekend in order to avoid too much publicity.
21 November 1975, New York (NY) Times, pg. 83 ad:
Why Garlock Opposes Colt’s Takeover Attempt
I’M ONE OF THE LARGEST HOLDERS OF GARLOCK STOCK, AND NEITHER I NOR ANY OTHER DIRECTOR WILL ACCEPT YOUR OFFER. WE DON’T THINK YOUR RUSH “SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL” TENDER OFFER IS A CREDIT TO AMERICAN BUSINESS AND WE DON’T THINK IT’S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF OUR STOCKHOLDERS.
A. J. McMULLEN
CHAIRMAN, GARLOCK INC.
2 December 1975, New York (NY) Times, “‘Saturday Night Special’ Tenders” by Robert Metz, pg. 58:
Frequently in these days of depressed stock values, corporations have been confronted with attempts by outsiders to buy control at share prices that appear to be below intrinsic worth.
Such offers are often announced over a weekend and call for shareholder action within a matter of days, prompting one critic of the technique to call them “Saturday night specials.”
Google News Archive
25 October 1977, Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review, ‘Takeovers spawn exotic glossary,” pg. 17, col. 3:
NEW YORK (AP)—A good dose of Shark Repellent and a White Knight or two can provide plenty of hassle for a Saturday Night Special in takeover territory these days.
With cash tender offers approaching record levels, the trend to merge has spawned its own exotic glossary, the Conference Board reports in a study released Monday.
Some terms defined by the nonprofit business research organization:
-- Saturday Night Special: An unnegotiated tender offer, usually for cash, to wrest control of a company. The offer is open for only a very brief period of time.
25 October 1977, New York (NY) Times, “So Sleeping Beauty Was Rescued By White Knight From Bear Hug” by Robert J. Cole, pg. 73:
In the melodramatic idiom of Wall Street, the United Technologies Corporation tried a few months ago to clamp a bear hug around the Babcock & Wilcox Company, but J. Ray McDermott & Company, after initial resistance, eventually came forward as the White Knight and walked off with Sleeping Beauty.
The Saturday Night Special (or blitzkrieg)— A kind of raid in which an offer is usually for cash but is kept open very briefly. The practice went out of style after a number of states passed takeover legislation but may come back again, since one such law in Idaho was declared illegal.
1 December 1978, New York (NY) Times, “Business and the Law: The Language of Takeovers” by Tom Goldstein, pg. D4:
CRIMINAL lawyers often slip into the jargon spoken by rogues. negligence lawyers sometimes sound like physicians talking. And patent lawyers occasionally lapse into scientists’ lingo. Lawyers who specialize in corporate takeovers are no different. They have a language of their own, and it is the language of attack—of “Saturday night specials” and “white knights,” of “bear hugs” and “safe harbors.”
Those “Saturday Night Specials”
Historians of corporate strife credit Richard Cheney, a public relations man at Hill & Knowlton, with first applying the phrase “Saturday night special” to a takeover battle.
This usage originated a few years ago when Colt Industries successfully acquired Garlock Inc., a gasket maker. Colt is a conglomerate that still manufactures pistols, and “Saturday night special” seemed appropriate in describing the secretiveness and suddenness of a hostile takeover bid. The phrase entered the vocabulary of securities lawyers.
As a defense against sudden takeovers, dozens of states enacted laws limiting acquisition tactics. But now, after a series of court cases, securities lawyers expect the return of Saturday night specials. They are warning potential target companies that unless they are well prepared they could make a fatal mistake leading to an abrupt takeover.
New York City • Banking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Thursday, February 10, 2011 • Permalink