Critic Bids for Intermix
A former Intermix (MIX) exec ratcheted up his bid to throw a monkey wrench into Rupert Murdoch's Internet ambitions.
Brad Greenspan, who was the CEO of Intermix predecessor eUniverse until October 2003, unveiled a competing proposal for Intermix Friday, though Intermix said it hadn't received any offer.
Greenspan's FreeMySpace group, which says it holds 10% of Intermix, offered $13.50 a share for what it called "a significant interest in Intermix." The bid comes two months after Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS) reached a $12-a-share, $580 million agreement to buy the owner of the MySpace.com social networking Web site.
Intermix shrugged. "The Company has not received the proposal described in the press release issued by FreeMySpace LLC earlier today and is otherwise unaware of any such offer," it said. "If and when any such proposal is forthcoming, the Company's Board will give it due consideration."News Corp. declined to comment Friday afternoon. Intermix shares rose modestly on the news, adding 39 cents to $12.30, while News Corp. retreated 19 cents to $16.16. The move didn't shock Wall Street. "I am not surprised to see a private offer," said Phil Remek, an analyst with Guzman & Co., which doesn't rate News Corp. "There has been a big jump in private financing in the media sector this year." Greenspan had already been waging a campaign against the News Corp. deal. On Wednesday, he urged Intermix investors to vote against the News Corp. transaction, saying the deal undervalues the Los Angeles-based company. He also alleged various improprieties on the part of Intermix management. Intermix replied in a Thursday SEC filing that it "continues to be perplexed by Mr. Greenspan's actions." Intermix cited the progress of its turnaround and concluded, "Mr. Greenspan has a history of making allegations against the Company and we do not think his allegations merit a response." But Greenspan was back at it Friday, proposing a deal that he said would give Intermix investors "liquidity at a higher price than News Corporation is offering and the opportunity to participate in the exciting future of MySpace.com as a free and independently thriving business." Murdoch's $12-a-share deal, unveiled July 18, offered a 12% premium to Intermix holders. The agreement came just a month after Intermix settled with the New York attorney general over claims the company was bundling spyware into its so-called social networking offerings. TheStreet.com profiled Intermix in February as investors were starting to take a second look at the company.
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