A Post-It note stuck into the board minutes of Affiliated Computer Services Inc. has come back to haunt Darwin Deason, the company founder and chairman who recently announced plans to take the company private.
An investigation into options backdating at Affiliated Computer Services Inc. unearthed a handwritten note in which ACS Chairman Darwin Deason discusses the practice of "always" picking the "lowest" prices "so far" in the quarter to award stock options.
The note raises questions about the company's prior assertions that Mr. Deason, its founder, knew nothing about widespread options backdating at the company. News of the note's contents comes at a sensitive time for Mr. Deason, who earlier this week joined with Cerberus Capital Management of New York in a $5.9 billion offer to take ACS private.
Just in case you don't get the message that Deason is obviously a bad man--backdating! cooperating with private equity! management buyout!--the Journal includes a small box giving the background of the story: "Some have asked whether Chairman Deason is trying to scoop up ACS at a bargain price." At first the connection between the backdating revelation and the buyout was lost on us but then we remembered you have to think like a criminal prosecutor to understand the Wall Street Journal's backdating coverage. And then is obvious: backdating=looting from shareholders=management buyout=looting from shareholders.
Note Raises Pressure on ACS [Wall Street Journal]