While leading kids programming producer/distributor HIT Entertainment appears to be in a bidding war for a takeover, its independent directors reiterated support for a $917 million bid from equity firm Apax partners and asked other suitors to file actual proposals by May 13, 2005.
Lions Gate Entertainment and Classic Media said they were interested in acquiring the kids company but have not made actual bids. HIT has provided the potential competing offers with extensive access to due diligence materials and to meetings with the management of the company. They must file a proposal by the deadline or they will be unable to make an offer for the company for six months thereafter.
The independent directors, who are advised by KPMG Corp. Finance, consider the Apax proposals are in the best interests of HIT Shareholders as a whole. The Independent Directors note that by approving the Apax proposals April 28 would ensure, subject to the court sanctioning the Scheme, that the cash offer at 300 pence per share can be completed, yet still allow further time for the potential competing offers to make a superior offer to take to the shareholders.
If HIT shareholders do not approve the Apax proposals at the HIT extraordinary general meeting and court meeting, they will immediately lapse, with the possibility that no further offer is received for the company at or above 300 pence per share.
Established in 1989, HIT Ent. (www.hitentertainment.com) is one of the world's leading preschool children's entertainment producers and rights owners. With operations in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Japan and Germany, the company's activities span television production and distribution, home entertainment, consumer products, publishing and live events. HIT's famous characters which include classic global brands such as BOB THE BUILDER, BARNEY, THOMAS & FRIENDS, PINGU, KIPPER and ANGELINA BALLERINA, which are enjoyed by children in more than 150 countries and territories.