Nostalgia sees bucks if Int’l Family sees books

Pat Robertson’s Intl. Family Entertainment Inc. will boost its bid for the Nostalgia Network by 50%, or more than $ 20 million, if the money-losing cable channel opens its books and prevents another bidder from buying Nostalgia stock.

IFE said Monday it is discussing with a committee of Nostalgia’s board the possibility of offering $ 3 a share for Nostalgia’s common stock and $ 300 a share for its preferred stock. Last month, IFE initiated a tender offer at $ 2 a share for the common and $ 200 for the preferred.

Nostalgia’s stock climbed 38 cents a share to $ 2.25 in Nasdaq trading.

But the sweetened bid is contingent upon getting a better look at Nostalgia’s financial condition and on freezing Concept Communications Inc.’s ability to gobble up Nostalgia stock.

Concept, which has ties to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, is one of Nostalgia’s largest shareholders and had bid to acquire 1 million Nostalgia shares at $ 2 apiece. The company has said in a recent regulatory filing that it has bought and will continue to buy Nostalgia shares in the open market, possibly to take control of the company.

Even if IFE cannot block Concept’s purchases, its proposed offer will at least make them far more expensive. “If someone was considering selling at $ 2. 25 a week ago, they might not be considering it today,” one insider said.

In a press release, IFE took a not-so-veiled shot at Concept’s acquisition strategy. “We assume that the committee will give special consideration to bids such as ours which are for 100% of Nostalgia and which do not leave minority shareholders standing out in the cold,” IFE senior vice president and general counsel Louis A. Isakoff’s statement said.

A lawyer for Concept declined to comment on the offer or Concept’s possible response.

Nostalgia execs were in a board meeting Monday and could not be reached.

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