Lionsgate, JP Morgan field TV Guide offers

Pair evaluating bids for channel, website

Lionsgate and JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s One Equity Partners wing have received several written offers from potential buyers for the TV Guide Network cabler and TVGuide.com website.

A rep for Lionsgate declined comment Monday but a source with knowledge of situation indicated that the bids have come in at more than the partners paid for the cabler. Lionsgate is said to be seeking about $400 million for the asset.

The partners have been shopping the cabler for months with the most likely outcome being an outright sale — although there’s still a chance that One Equity, the private investment arm of JP Morgan, could buy out Lionsgate’s 51% stake or vice versa.

The channel’s distribbed in more than 80 million cable/satellite homes and generated $20 million in EBIDTA last year for the partners. It’s renewed its carriage deals with Time Warner, Comcast and Charter and has been moving to convert the channel from a listings-focused service to a traditional linear channel.

Lionsgate bought the cabler and website in February 2009 for $255 million. By May of that year, Lionsgate had sold a 49% stake in the assets for $125 million to One Equity and investor Allen Shapiro, who had been in pursuit of TV Guide at the same time Lionsgate made its bid.

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