Pat tender on Nostalgia

Pat Robertson’s International Family Entertainment upped its bid and has started a tender offer for the money-losing Nostalgia Network.

The bid comes shortly after Concept Communications, arival bidder with ties to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, disclosed it was acquiring shares on the open market.

IFE, which offered $ 1.50 in cash and 50 cents in stock for each Nostalgia share in early October, now has bid $ 2 in cash for each share. IFE also offered to pay $ 200 in cash for each share of Nostalgia’s preferred stock, improving on its bid of $ 150 in cash and $ 50 in stock for each preferred share. The deal is worth roughly $ 40 million.

In mid-October, Nostalgia told IFE it would need more time to consider its offer and IFE, which owns the Family Channel and MTM Entertainment, told the company it would extend its offer for a reasonable period.

“That reasonable period of time has expired,” said David R. Humphrey, IFE vice president of financial relations. “It’s been a month. That’s more than a reasonable period of time.”

Also, IFE was concerned by an SEC filing that Concept made Nov. 19. In the filing, Concept said it had acquired 212,000 Nostalgia shares in the open market to “have the effect of increasing Concept’s ability to control (Nostalgia) and of reducing the ability of any other person or persons to acquire or exert control of (Nostalgia).”

Executives at Concept, which already holds a sizable piece of Nostalgia, could not be reached.

Nostalgia’s board has been split between Concept backers, who hold five seats , and the five directors loyal to Chairman Michael Marcovsky. A number of other investors — including an Arizona cellular executive and MOR Music Television — have also expressed an interest in the company. The Nostalgia board, split on most issues, agreed to sell the company Nov. 17. But it had no comment on IFE’s new offer.

“It’s way too premature to comment on the various bids,” said James Merrill, a Nostalgia spokesman.

IFE made its offer two days after meeting with Nostalgia’s investment adviser , Allen & Co. The offer is a two-step deal in which the company hopes shareholders will tender a majority of Nostalgia stock, and the company would then buy the rest.

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