IFE ups TVS bid after Michaels rumor

Rev. Pat Robertson’s Intl. Family Entertainment Inc. yesterday sweetened its bid for Britain’s TVS Entertainment PLC.

The enhanced offer was announced following a rumor that Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, which produces “Saturday Night Live,” is also interested in buying TVS.

“No comment,” was the response from a Broadway Video spokesman when queried about the company’s interest in TVS.

The enhanced IFE offer gives holders of TVS stock the option to accept either IFE class B common shares or cash in exchange for their TVS shares.

TVS stockholders who elect to receive cash for their shares can now receive the consideration entirely in cash, rather than a combination of cash and stock, as was the case under the initial offer announced Sept. 18.

TVS, MTM Entertainment’s parent, is the outgoing station in southern England. It goes off the air at the end of this year after losing its commercial TV franchise.

The TVS board had recommended that shareholders accept the original offer, and sources say the company’s major investors, including Canal Plus and Compagnie Generale des Eaux, with 9.7% equity stakes each, are committed to accepting, giving IFE acceptances of more than 30% already.

TVS preference shareholders, however, representing about 25% of the company’s equity base, objected to the original offer terms, under which they stood to recoup more if TVS goes into liquidation rather than by IFE’s takeover.

Under the revised bid, IFE will offer 0.074 new IFE shares or 65 cents cash for each TVS preference share, or about 50% more than its price before the offer.

The revised offer is worth $ 72.2 million, compared to the $ 68.5 million original offer. However, the full cash alternative is the cheapest for IFE. If all TVS shareholders turn their shares in for cash, then IFE buys the company at a bargain price of about $ 54.5 million.

If no other takeover bid is made and all conditions are satisfied, the acquisition could be completed by early January.

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