Lions Gate Entertainment has decided not to make an offer for HIT Entertainment Plc., the producer of children's shows BOB THE BUILDER and BARNEY leaving just HIT's original suitor, equity firm Apax Partners, on behalf of the Sunshine Acquisition Ltd.
The independent directors of HIT announced they are not in discussions with any other potential suitors and it is therefore expected that the scheme will become effective on May 24, 2005, following the court hearing to sanction the scheme on May 23.
HIT has already received the shareholder approval for accepting the bid made by Apax Partners. Shareholders do not need to take any further action in relation to the scheme.
HIT had recommended in March that shareholders accept $928 million takeover bid from Apax, until Lions Gate and Classic Media, expressed interest in buying the London-based kids producer/distributor.
Classic Media decided against bidding for the British publishing and entertainment company about two weeks ago.
"After our strong review of due diligence materials, we have determined that although HIT would be a potentially strong strategic fit, a Lions Gate/HIT transaction does not create the level of additional shareholder value that would be a prerequisite for moving forward," Lions Gate chief exec Jon Feltheimer said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.