Nostalgia gets 3rd bidder

Nostalgia Network Inc., the money-losing cable channel that already has two bidders fighting to take control, got a new offer Thursday from a third suitor.

MOR Music TV Inc. and Gen-She Inc., two companies that previously bid to pick up pieces of Nostalgia, formed a joint venture to acquire at least 54% of the company and, depending on shareholder interest, all its outstanding shares. The duo bid $ 2.20 a share for the company, or roughly $ 44 million if all shareholders accepted the bid.

MOR’s bid tops the $ 2-per-share cash tender offer made last week by Pat Robertson’s International Family Ent. Inc. IFE also bid $ 200 a share in cash for all of Nostalgia’s preferred stock.

Separately, IFE said it would consider raising its bid for Nostalgia if the company prevented the third bidder, Concept Communications Inc., from buying Nostalgia stock on the open market. Concept, which controls five Nostalgia board seats and is privy to inside information about the sale, acknowledged in a recent regulatory filing that it was accumulating stock in order to increase its control of Nostalgia.

“We will not tolerate Concept undermining the very process its own officers and directors on the Nostalgia board unanimously approved for the benefit of all stockholders,” IFE said in a letter to the lawyer representing the special committee set up to consider bids for Nostalgia.

A lawyer representing Concept, which has ties to Rev. Sun Myung Moon, could not be reached.

MOR, a St. Petersburg, Fla., music channel, and Gen-She, an investment vehicle created by Arizona cellular executive Sarkice Nedder to buy Nostalgia, plan no substantial changes for Nostalgia, except to add programming using MOR’s music library.

“I believe in the concept,” MOR president and CEO Ronald J. Harris said. “I believe it’s a way to pollinate our network.”

Harris said the group could fully finance the deal on their own, but have hired investment firm Josephthal, Lyon & Ross Inc. to raise money.

A Nostalgia spokesman said the company didn’t expect the new bid and declined to comment on it, except to say that it’s proof of the company’s value.

IFE declined to comment on the MOR/Gen-She bid, nor would it say how high its offer could go. But sources said its letter was prompted by Concept’s meeting Thursday with a large Nostalgia shareholder to buy its roughly 500,000 shares of stock.

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