Gemstar-TV Guide (GMST) finally found a buyer, and Rupert Murdoch found a way to offload his 41% stake in the company–ending the most significant losing bet he’s made in the last decade. It’s not too hard to see how owning Gemstar, with its set-top patents, once seemed like a good idea in 2000 when Murdoch merged his TV Guide with the company in a $14.2 billion transaction.
Boy, that didn’t take long to go sour: News Corp. (NWS) took a $11.1 billion write-down on the investment in 2002 and onetime CEO Henry C. Yuen was found guilty of defrauding investors. Now Santa Clara-based Macrovision is allowing Murdoch to cut his losses by taking the company out at $6.35 a share, a 6.2% premium on Thursday’s $5.98 closing price.
TV Guide Staffers: Keep Sending Out Those Resumes
Shares in both Macrovision and Gemstar/TV Guide are in free-fall post-deal, and it’s looking bad for the venerable TV Guide (which re-invented itself as a TV-celebrity magazine a few years back as a way to try to justify its continued existence).
Asked about the fate of Gemstar/TV Guide’s print operations (read: TV Guide), Macrovision CEO Fred Amoroso felt no need to reassure the troops: “I don’t have deep background in that area,” he said.
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