PHOENIX -- Swift Transportation Co. Inc. said yesterday it has rejected a $2.2 billion takeover offer from its founder and largest shareholder and plans to explore other alternatives to the bid.
The truckload carrier said the offer by Jerry Moyes, a current member of the board and its former chairman and chief executive, to buy the company for $29 per share was inadequate because it didn't reflect Swift's full value.
Swift plans to enter discussions with Moyes to determine if his offer can be increased. The Phoenix-based company also has begun talks with other unspecified potential buyers.
A spokesman for Swift declined to comment about when the company would meet with Moyes. Moyes didn't immediately return a message.
Swift Transportation shares gained 75 cents, or 2.7 percent, to close at $28.36 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Moyes founded Swift in 1966, and his family owns roughly 38 percent of the stock. His offer of $29 per share represented a premium of 20.6 percent over the stock's price of $24.05 on Friday.
When making his bid on Nov. 6, Moyes said in a letter that he may be willing to increase his offer in light of any factors that might justify a higher price. Chaz Jones, an analyst with Morgan Keegan, noted that Moyes has secured about $2.5 billion to help increase his offer.
"It leads you to believe there's still the possibility this acquisition gets done, just perhaps at a slightly higher price," Jones said. "Maybe we're going to wrangle over price here for the next four to six weeks."
Swift's promise to seek other offers was likely meant to coax more money out of Moyes, he said.