Imagine board to examine bid

The buyout of Imagine Films Entertainment by founders Brian Grazer and Ron Howard for $ 9 a share looks more certain as the company’s full board of directors meet today for a final consideration of their offer.

The duo’s bid expired at 5 p.m. yesterday.

Imagine then issued a press release stating that the seven-member board would be meeting today to consider their proposal, which has been extended twice over the last two months.

A two-member special committee of the board has been reviewing the offer, and today’s meeting indicates that no new offers have surfaced, despite rumors that Andy Vajna’s Cinergi Prods. was an interested buyer.

Grazer and Howard control more than 54% of the shares of the company they formed in 1986. Last April they announced their departure from Imagine to form a new arrangement with Universal.

Several subsequent lawsuits from shareholders contend that the partners are trying to acquire the company on the cheap, and some shareholders contend the company was worth at least $ 12 to $ 13 a share.

However, the company’s balance sheet has deteriorated since Howard and Grazer announced their departure.

For the full year 1992, the company reported a loss of $ 1.3 million vs. a net income of $ 2.9 million in 1991.

“The deck has been stacked against us so that we’ll be grateful for a $ 9 -a-share bid,” contended one disgruntled Imagine shareholder.

When the final bid is accepted, Grazer and Howard may find themselves fighting five shareholder lawsuits.

In over-the-counter trading, Imagine shares moved up 50 cents yesterday to close at $ 8.75, closer to the final buyout price.

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