The deal, however, now seems to have hit a road bump after the New York Post reported that Sequential CEO Yehuda Shmidman may have leaked the deal before it was finalized. The blunder caused shares in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) to jump way above Sequential's deal price, reaching almost $7 per share .
Citing sources, the Post reported that Martha Stewart's company is now being solicited by new potential buyers including Meredith Corp., Iconix Brand Group (ICON), Global Brands and Authentic Brands.
New York-based Sequential Brands has been left scrambling after it was forced to allow Martha Stewart Living 30 days to shop around for higher bids. Sequential holds the licensing rights to Jessica Simpson, Ellen Tracy and Franklin Mint.
Martha Stewart herself was already guaranteed a healthy pay packet from the original deal, standing to make a profit of $167 million from her personal stock as well as annual payments that could reach over $3 million, according to some calculations.
Some investors, though, feel that the Sequential deal will leave them short-changed.
Martha Stewart Living has a grace period to search for a higher bidder. If it accepts another offer, Sequential will be entitled to a $7.5 million fee, which increases if the deal falls apart after Aug. 6.
On Thursday, shares of Martha Stewart Living closed at $6.40, up 24 cents, or 3.9%.