Inside Move: Artisan may be closing Gate

Co.'s $100 mil bid considered too low by auctioners

Two days after a soft deadline for non-binding bids for all or part of Artisan (Daily Variety, May 20), scuttlebutt circulated Wednesday that Lions Gate had been elbowed out of the proceedings.

Canadian-based film and TV company was among those placing offers for Artisan, with the Lions Gate bid believed valued at about $100 million or so. That was deemed too low by those running the auction, according to several sources close to the process. There were conflicting rumblings about whether or not Lions Gate might be allowed to sweeten its offer. Lions Gate execs declined comment, and Artisan reps weren’t immediately available.

The purpose of the initial round of bidding was to identify the most serious suitors prior to a due-diligence phase of the process, which is being managed by investment firms Allen & Co. and Harris Williams.

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