Outdoor Channel stock soared in after-hours trading Tuesday, up 8% (72 cents each) to $9.47 per share as of 6:07 p.m., a sign that investors believe InterMedia Partners has touched off a bidding war with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment for the hunting and fishing network.
InterMedia unexpectedly launched a $240 million counter offer for Outdoor Channel late Tuesday, a bid that could win back the network that was snatched from its grasp in an eerily similar fashion in March. About a week before its deal was to be voted on by Outdoor shareholders at a special meeting, Kroenke Sports lobbed in an unsolicited all-cash offer for $8.75 per share, or about $227 million. A few weeks later, Outdoor deemed the KSE bid superior and accepted their proposal. Outdoor shareholders were scheduled to vote on the KSE bid in a special meeting of shareholders on May 8.
Whether the new bid will force KSE to come back with an even richer offer remains to be seen, but in an interview Tuesday, InterMedia managing partner Peter Kern said he thought the price was pretty lofty as it is.