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Kroenke in pole position to take Outdoor Channel

The bid from Kroenke Sports & Entertainment for Outdoor Channel looks the most likely to succeed after rival bidder InterMedia admitted that the US cable net’s owners preferred the sports mogul’s offer.

InterMedia had lined up a merger deal with Outdoor before KSE stepped in with a higher value bid. Both maintained they had offered the best deal, but Outdoor Channel’s owners designated KSE’s the preferred bid.

It issued a statement yesterday, in which it said: “We continue to believe that our proposed merger was and is the superior choice for all Outdoor Channel shareholders. Unfortunately, Outdoor Channel determined that they would prefer to take cash rather than participate in the significant combined future upside this combination provided.”

InterMedia’s earlier cash and stock offer is worth US$208 million and KSE’s about US$227 million, but the former maintained its is the better proposal.

“As always, our primary priority is on continuing to improve our offerings to our consumers, sponsors, producers and cable and satellite distribution partners,” InterMedia said.