Denver sports magnate Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has made a competing offer for the Outdoor Channel, a deal which seems to trump an earlier agreement between the hunting and fishing network and Sportsman Channel parent InterMedia Holdings.
Kroenke Sports, which also owns regional sports network Altitude Sports and the World Fishing Network, offered $8.75 per share in cash for the outstanding stock of Outdoor Channel, a bid worth about $227 million that seems to far outpace InterMedia’s $8 per share deal.
Outdoor Chanel stock surged on the news and was up 15.5% ($1.17 per share) to $8.72 each in early trading Monday.
In a statement issued March 4, Outdoor Channel said it had received an unsolicited, non-binding written proposal from Kroenke and that its board of directors believes the offer could be determined as superior to the InterMedia proposal.
“Accordingly, Outdoor Channel's board has authorized discussions with Kroenke regarding the Alternative Proposal,” Outdoor said in a statement. ”There is no assurance that these discussions will result in a definitive agreement with Kroenke or a binding offer with respect to a transaction for Outdoor Channel by Kroenke, or of the timing of any such agreement or offer and the terms on which any such agreement or offer may be made.”
In a research note, Nobel Financial analyst Michael Kupinski wrote that in his view, the Kroenke proposal “provides a legitimate alternative and could be viewed as a higher offer than InterMedia's offer.”
In a letter to Outdoor Channel Monday, InterMedia asserted that its deal is still the better one.
"Our transaction, which can be consummated in less than two weeks, provides OUTD stockholders with a more attractive and valuable combination of cash today and stock in a much larger and more valuable enterprise." InterMedia said in the letter.
Outdoor had agreed to a complicated deal with InterMedia in November that would have created a separate publicly traded company – InterMedia Outdoor Holdings – and given shareholders the option of taking $8 in cash or stock in the new entity for their Outdoor shares.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is affiliated with The Kroenke Group, a private real estate investment and development company owned by Stan Kroenke. Kroenke also is the owner of the National Football League St. Louis Rams, the National Basketball Association Denver Nuggets, the National Hockey League Colorado Avalanche and Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids. Kroenke, the majority shareholder in Barclays Premier League's Arsenal club, also owns and operates sports and entertainment venues in Colorado, including the Pepsi Center, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and the Paramount Theatre. In television, Kroenke owns Altitude Sports & Entertainment, a regional television network based in Denver, and 50% of World Fishing Network, which operates primarily out of the Altitude network operating center in Centennial, Colo.