Robertson May Open Bidding Battle for Network

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The bidding over Nostalgia Network is poised to go even higher, with media mogul Pat Robertson signaling he is prepared to increase his offer for the money-losing cable network.

Robertson's Virginia Beach, Va.-based International Family Entertainment is now in a three-way takeover fight for the cable network that is available in only 14 million homes.

IFE on Friday said it has "commenced discussions" with a special committee of Nostalgia directors about the possibility of increasing its bid to $3 for each share of common stock and $300 for each share of preferred stock.

Nostalgia Network has 14.4 million common shares outstanding and 3,875 preferred shares. IFE is currently offering $2 for each common share and $200 for each preferred share.

IFE's willingness to increase its bid comes four days after two other companies, Florida-based MOR Music TV Inc. and Arizona-based Gen-She Inc., said they would join forces to buy a majority stake in Nostalgia for between $2.10 and $2.20 per share of common stock.

A third bidder, Concept Communications Inc., already owns nearly one-third of Nostalgia's common stock and controls five board seats. Concept is affiliated with the Unification Church.

IFE, which also owns the Family Channel and MTM Entertainment, is affiliated with Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network.

A spokesman for IFE said it needs "extra due diligence" because it does not have access to Nostalgia's non-public financial documents.

IFE has complained that Concept, as a major shareholder, has access to non-public financial information and said that recent share purchases by Concept have undermined the bidding process. Concept disclosed last month that it has suspended buying Nostalgia shares.

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