Gemstar-TV Guide May Sell Itself

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Gemstar-TV Guide International announced Monday that its board of directors authorized the company “to explore strategic alternatives intended to maximize shareholder value,” which may include a sale of the company.

"The company has made significant improvements throughout its businesses, and the board is very pleased with the growth and strategic direction under CEO Richard Battista,” Gemstar-TV Guide chairman Anthea Disney said in a prepared statement. “We are now poised to investigate the range of available strategic alternatives for continuing to build shareholder value."

The company said board members will work with the management team and legal and financial advisors to evaluate available alternatives and “identify the course of action it believes is in the best interests of all of its shareholders.”

UBS Investment Bank is acting as financial advisor. New York-based law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor.

Gemstar-TV Guide’s assets include cable channels TV Guide Network and TVG Network, TV Guide magazine and the licensing of interactive-program-guide technology. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns about 41% equity in Gemstar-TV Guide and four of its executives, including Murdoch, sit on its nine-member board of directors.

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