Investment Firm Tops Manwin's Bid for New Frontier Media

May 23, 2012 1:45 PM PST

BOULDER, Colo. — New Frontier Media today received a sweetened bid by investment company Longkloof Ltd. for the adult transactional TV company.

Longkloof's bid of $1.75 a share for shares it doesn't already own tops a competing bid by Manwin, which has offered $1.50 a share.

Longkloof, New Frontier Media's largest shareholder at 15.9 percent, earlier this year had offered $1.35 a share, valuing the company at about $24.3 million. The higher bid would value it at about $28.3 million.

Longkloof has been increasing its effort to get control of the company by proposing to nominate a slate of four candidates to New Frontier Media's board.

Manwin's $1.50-a-share bid would amount to about $27 million.

Channel Islands-based Longkloof, which sent a letter to New Frontier Media today about the new offer, said that current management should allow shareholders the option to decide the future for the company.

Longkloof said its plan "is a better alternative to the board of director’s current misguided, time-consuming and value-wasting strategy of remaining a public company and paying the associated exorbitant costs, including the excessive and unnecessary board fees to its non-management directors."

"We would like to move forward immediately and are ready to meet and start immediate negotiations to maximize value for all shareholders," Longkloof said. "It is our belief that this offer is fair and in the best interest of the company and its shareholders, and that the shareholders will find such a proposal attractive if presented to them."

Manwin officials did not immediately respond to XBIZ queries over whether it would raise its offer, but the company in March made its intentions clear.

Manwin Managing Partner Fabian Thylmann called New Frontier Media’s business "a natural fit which should create synergies immediately benefiting both Manwin’s pay TV providers and their customers.”

“Our recent experience with Playboy TV proves to us the value of TV as a distribution platform, and we have been seeking ways to foster additional business in that segment of the industry," Thylmann said at the time.

Manwin already operates Playboy TV through its Playboy Plus Entertainment division in a licensing deal with Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Playboy Enterprises.

The company also owns a number of blue-chip brands, including Brazzers and recently purchased Digital Playground. It also is finalizing a merger deal with Reality Kings.

The Luxembourg company also owns YouPorn and Twistys, as well as Spankwire, Webcams Tube8, ExtremeTube, KeezMovies, Mofos, ExtremeTube, JuicyBoys and PornHub.

New Frontier Media CFO Grant Williams did not immediately respond for XBIZ comment on the latest bid for the company.

New Frontier Media offers the Penthouse TV premium channel and pay-per-view services packaged as The Erotic Networks, or TEN, that include Xtsy, Juicy, and VaVoom.

New Frontier Media was one of the most active U.S. stocks today. Shares of the company jumped 19 cents on the Nasdaq to $1.71 a share. About 625,200 shares of the company changed hands today, a 1,609.3 percent increase over its 65-day average volume.

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