Constantin will fight hostile takeover

Highlight to buy EM.TV's stake in co.

BERLIN — The management of Constantin Film said Thursday it will fight a hostile takeover by Swiss-German distributor Highlight Communications.

Constantin’s management and supervisory boards met Thursday to discuss “defensive measures” against the planned takeover.

On Wednesday Highlight agreed to buy TV license trader EM.TV’s 16.4% stake in Constantin, giving Highlight a 41.4% stake in the publicly listed company. In accordance with German law, Highlight has to make an offer to Constantin’s minority shareholders for an additional 33.5%.

The takeover would thus leave Highlight with nearly 75% and considerably reduce the power of Constantin topper Bernd Eichinger, who holds 25.1%.

Highlight would pay minority shareholders $3.97 per share, the same price it agreed to pay EM.TV. Highlight is set to pay EM.TV $8.2 million plus provide the cash-strapped kidvidder with a loan in the single-digit millions.

Constantin said it would seek alternatives to Highlight’s acquisition, saying it would release a more detailed plan on Tuesday. Constantin shares, which rose 17% Wednesday following news of Highlight’s plans, went up again by nearly 10% Thursday before settling at $4.30.

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