From: Reuters
Published December 17, 2007 03:54 AM

United Rentals, Cerberus delay trial for talks: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trial resulting from United Rentals Inc's <URI.N> lawsuit to force buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management <CBS.UL> to complete its $4 billion purchase of the company has been delayed by a day so the two parties can discuss a settlement, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The trial was scheduled to begin in Delaware Chancery Court on Monday but the talks do not necessarily mean the two companies will reach a settlement, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The buyout firm withdrew its $34.50-per-share offer for United Rentals, an equipment rental company, in November. The deal's collapse is one of several leveraged buyouts that have failed in recent weeks, as buyers face difficulty getting funding amid weakening credit markets.

Cerberus and United Rentals are fighting over a clause in the merger agreement known as "specific performance." United Rentals has argued that the clause does not allow Cerberus to terminate the agreement and gives United Rentals the right to have the deal enforced.

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Cerberus in November filed suit against United Rentals in New York State Supreme Court, saying the buyout firm was liable only for a $100 million break-up fee and associated costs. Cerberus argued that United Rentals had no right to seek additional relief or to force the buyout firm to complete the deal.

No-one at United Rentals or Cerberus could immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Emily Chasan; Editing by David Holmes)

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