Lawsuit Against Blackstone Dismissed

(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Thursday dismissed Alliance Data Systems Corp’s lawsuit against private equity firm Blackstone Group relating to an aborted deal to buy the credit card processor.

Blackstone agreed to a $6.76 billion deal to buy Alliance Data in May 2007, but the deal collapsed in April 2008.

Alliance sued Blackstone to win a $170 million business interruption payment, claiming the buyout firm breached its contractual obligations by prolonging negotiations with regulators and causing the deal not to be completed.

In an opinion, Delaware Vice Chancellor Leo Strine said he dismissed the claim, according to a copy of the suit.

Alliance Data said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the decision.

“Because we believe that we have a meritorious case, we will be reviewing our legal options,” it said in a statement. “While our business continues to perform well and this litigation is not central to our business strategy or performance, Blackstone should be required to pay the break-up fee included in our merger contract.” (Reporting by Megan Davies and Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Phil Berlowitz, Gary Hill)