JumpTV Rebuffs Greenspan, Goes With NeuLion Instead
"We believe that merging LiveTime Group with JumpTV along with our restructuring plan outlined below, will provide significantly greater upside and value for shareholders than the recently announced NeuLion transaction," Greenspan said in a statement.
On Friday, however, JumpTV said that Greenspan's offer to combine JumpTV with his LiveVideo Network group of entertainment sites "was not in the best interests of the company."
JumpTV and NeuLion, which is headed by Computer Associates co-founder Charles Wang, said their agreement is now concrete, and would likely close by Oct. 1 of this year.
The NeuLion deal will result in JumpTV issuing about $40 million worth of shares to merge with the Long Island, N.Y.-based company.
Wang is now set to take over as chairman, while his wife Nancy Li will serve as CEO. G. Scott Paterson, chairman of JumpTV, will serve as vice chairman, and the company will close down most of its Toronto offices.
JumpTV said its existing CEO--Jordan Banks--was stepping down, effective immediately. "Jordan has played a critical role in JumpTV's evolution," Paterson said.
JumpTV, focused on soccer, cycling and U.S. college sports, will now combine with NeuLion, which has rights to National Hockey League games and also delivers overseas programming on the Internet.
The deal values shares that will be bought by Wang and JumpTV Chairman G. Scott Paterson at $1 each.
Greenspan, a serial entrepreneur and early investor in MySpace, was offering to buy one-fourth of JumpTV's shares at $1.01 each. Under the offer, Greenspan was prepared to pay up to $12.6 million for 25% of JumpTV's shares in a deal that would also see LiveVideo's assets folded into the company.
The Toronto-based JumpTV had provided international TV programming online until earlier this year, when it announced a change of focus to sports and Latin American content as part of a broader restructuring.
The move followed the company's push into sports programming in 2007 with its $60 million acquisition of video sports network XOS.
In targeting the underserved Latin American market, the company offers over 1,000 hours of content daily via partnerships with 80 Hispanic TV stations.
JumpTV has spent much of the year building its ad sales team and refreshing its executive team following the exodus of its president, Kaleil Tuzman, and several other executives, who left in January for online video company Roo. (Roo has since been rebranded as KIT digital.)