In the end, the man with the biggest checkbook appears to have prevailed in the ongoing bidding war for Outdoor Channel.
In an interview Thursday, InterMedia Partners managing partner Peter Kern said the Sportsman Channel parent will not stand in the way of billionaire Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s latest offer for Outdoor – a $10.25 per share all cash bid that was launched Wednesday evening.
“I suppose this is the end,” Kern said in an interview. “It’s getting ridiculous.”
Kroenke Sports’ offer trumped a $9.75 per share offer from InterMedia and was the sixth bid made for the channel since November, when InterMedia agreed to acquire Outdoor in a cash and stock deal valued at $8 per share. That deal was trumped by an unsolicited all-cash offer by Kroenke for $8.75 per share in March. When that deal appeared headed for the altar, InterMedia lobbed in a competing all-cash bid for $9.15 per share on April 30, which started a near daily volley of offers between the parties – Kroenke made a $9.35 per share offer on May 2, followed by InterMedia’s $9.75 offer on May 3.
Outdoor Channel said in a statement that it has unanimously approved the latest merger agreement and recommends that its shareholders vote in favor of the Kroenke deal at a special meeting which the board anticipates will be held next week.
Outdoor Channel founders Thomas and Perry Massie have agreed to vote their 41% interest in the channel in favor of the KSE merger even if Outdoor’s board of directors changes its recommendation.
Lazard is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Outdoor Channel in connection with the transaction. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C.is legal advisor to Outdoor Channel in connection with the transaction.
It appears that shareholders were still holding out hope that the bidding war would continue, driving Outdoor shares up 31 cents each (3.1%) to $10.45 per share in early trading Thursday.