AP News

Outdoor Channel to start talks with Kroenke

NEW YORK (AP) — The board of Outdoor Channel Holdings Inc., which operates a cable channel about hunting, fishing and shooting, said Monday that it will start talks with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment LLC after Kroenke submitted a takeover bid that it called "superior" to a deal from InterMedia Outdoors Holdings LLC.

InterMedia, which controls the Sportsman Channel and publishes more than a dozen outdoor magazines, protested, saying in a letter to Outdoor Channel that its own proposal is better because it includes both cash and stock.

Denver-based Kroenke owns and operates Denver's Pepsi Center, among other venues, and is privately held.

Outdoor Channel, which is based in Temecula, Calif., agreed on Nov. 15 to sell itself to InterMedia for cash and stock then valued at $8 per share, or about $208 million. That deal could have closed in two weeks, InterMedia said.

But Kroenke submitted an all-cash bid of $8.75 per share, or $227 million, last week, and announced it late Friday.

In its letter Monday, New York-based InterMedia argues that the stock portion of its offer is now more valuable than it was in November. However, InterMedia shares are unlisted, making a valuation difficult.

Shares of Outdoor Channel jumped $1.13, or 15 percent, to $8.68 in afternoon trading after hitting a high of $8.80 earlier in the day, their highest level since 2008.

Shareholders of Outdoor Channel are scheduled to vote on the InterMedia transaction at a special meeting on March 13.

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