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Music Choice Targeted in $120 Million Hostile Takeover Bid by Canada’s Stingray

Stingray Digital Group, a Canadian music and video content provider, announced an unsolicited offer to acquire rival Music Choice for $120 million.

A rep for Music Choice did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Stingray said it has presented its bid to Music Choice’s management and has reached out to each of the company’s owners, which include: Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Sony Corp. of America, AT&T’s WarnerMedia (the former Time Warner), EMI Music Publishing, Arris and Microsoft.

According to Stingray, its bid for Music Choice “has not yet been accepted and is currently under review by the unitholders.” Stingray said the offer remains on the table until Aug. 31.

First launched in 1991, Music Choice offers a lineup of 50 genre-themed audio channels, a video-on-demand music service, and apps. Its linear channels have been a mainstay on U.S. pay-TV services for years (in part, as a way for operators to pad their overall channel counts).

“We believe that our formal offer to purchase has strong merit and would bring a significant return on investment for Music Choice unitholders,” Eric Boyko, Stingray’s co-founder, president and CEO, said in a statement. “Music Choice would benefit greatly from joining forces with Stingray, given that we are well positioned to expand and build Music Choice’s product portfolio and distribution in the United States and around the world.”

Stingray said its bid includes “vendor-friendly terms and conditions (including limited representations, warranties, and indemnities) to facilitate and expedite acceptance of the offer.”

In 2016, Music Choice sued Stingray, alleging infringement of U.S. patents. Last fall, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office initiated a review of the patents in question at Stingray’s request, which is seeking to have them invalidated.

Stingray is based in Montreal, Québec. The company produces and sells services including audio TV channels, premium TV channels, karaoke products, digital signage, in-store music and music apps. Stingray claims it reaches 400 million consumers in 156 countries and that its mobile apps have been downloaded over 90 million times.

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