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Houlihan Lokey co-president accused of leaking information in takeover deal
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A top Wall Street banker is being accused of bizarre double-dealing at a California tech firm where he serves as a board member.
Scott Adelson, co-president of the prominent investment bank Houlihan Lokey, allegedly leaked information to the would-be acquirer of QAD Inc. — a publicly traded software firm based in Santa Barbara, Calif. — even as he secretly entered a deal to buy a private jet with the company’s CEO, according to an explosive lawsuit.
Despite the fact that Adelson was serving as an independent director of QAD Inc., the financier was allegedly ferrying information to Thoma Bravo, a giant private equity fund that bid $2 billion in late June to take the software company private, according to the little-noticed lawsuit, which was filed this month in Delaware by a hedge fund that’s looking to stop the deal.
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Adelson served on a special committee to evaluate offers to purchase the company, which makes software for manufacturers. Instead of looking out for all shareholders, Adelson was guarding the interests of QAD co-founder Pamela Lopker, the suit claims.
In June, a day after Thoma Bravo presented an offer for QAD — an offer that had been increased from its original price — Adelson signed a letter of intent to buy a plane with Lopker for $4 million, according to the suit. Adelson allegedly agreed with Lopker to keep the purchase "our secret," according to the suit filed by Nantahala Capital, a hedge fund with a 5-percent stake in QAD.