Post house Unitel confirms buyer talks

NEW YORK — Production house Unitel Video Inc. has had preliminary discussions with a potential buyer of the company, Unitel said Tuesday, but no formal offer has yet been made.

Unitel made the announcement after two weeks of steadily growing activity in its stock, which has risen 36% since July 31 from $5.25 to Tuesday’s close of $7.12.

Unitel, which runs production studios, post-production facilities and mobile taping facilities, has been a longtime takeover target, Wall Streeters say. It lately has undergone a restructuring, which helped lift cash flow to $2.45 million from $900,000 in the third quarter ended May 31.

The identity of the bidder is not known and Unitel said it did not know whether any formal offer would be made “on acceptable terms and conditions.”

Unitel CEO Barry Knepper said the statement was made in response to the unusual trading in the stock and he declined to comment on the status of negotiations.

Knepper would not say whether Unitel was looking to sell but noted that as a public company, “you have an obligation to listen to all reasonable offers.”

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