InterMedia fires new salvo in fight for Outdoor Channel

Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:07pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Leo Hindery's InterMedia raised its offer for cable network Outdoor Channel Holdings Inc to $237 million in cash, outbidding a rival offer from Stan Kroenke's Kroenke Sports & Entertainment LLC.

Outdoor shares rose above Intermedia's offer price in extended trading, signaling that investors expect a counter bid from Kroenke for the cable channel, which features programs aimed at hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts.

The shares jumped 10 percent to $9.65, above both Intermedia's cash offer of $9.15 per share and Korenke's cash offer of $8.75 per share.

Billionaire Stan Kroenke owns the Denver Nuggets basketball team and Colorado Avalanche hockey team through Kroenke Sports. He also has a majority stake in Arsenal Football Club.

InterMedia, run by cable veteran Leo Hindery, owns "Sportsman" channel and publishes magazines such as "Guns & Ammo" and "Shotgun News".

As well as being involved in a shoot out over its ownership, Outdoor Channel is caught up in the wider gun control debate in the United States.

The National Rifle Association produces or sponsors six cable TV shows on two outdoor-oriented cable channels, including "Frieds of the NRA" on Outdoor Channel.

In the show, the two hosts visit NRA banquets and fundraisers as they tour the country.

Intermedia had previously offered to buy Outdoor Channel in November in a cash-and-stock deal valued at roughly $208 million, or $8 a share.

But Outdoor Channel agreed in March to be bought by Kroenke Sports, after it offered $227 million in an all cash deal.

InterMedia said its offer will remain open until May 7, a day before Outdoor's shareholder meeting.

"We have already obtained antitrust approval in connection with our previous merger agreement, and we have confirmed that such approval remains effective," Intermedia said in a letter to Outdoor Channel's board.

Outdoor shares closed at $8.75 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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