What: Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (UNKNOWN:MSO.DL) jumped 20% last month, according to data from S&P Capital IQ, after an agreement to sell the company to Sequential Brands, a brand-licensing specialist, was announced.
So what: As you can see from the chart above, the stock surged over a two-day period as The Wall Street Journal broke news on June 18 that Stewart's company was in talks to sell itself to the company whose brands include Linens 'n Things, Heelys, Avia, and Ellen Tracy. In typical buy-the-rumor, sell-the-news fashion, the stock dropped once a deal was reached on June 22 at a price of $6.15 a share, valuing the media and home goods company at $353 million.
As part of the deal, Stewart will become a major shareholder of Sequential Brands and serve as chief creative officer at the company.
Though shares of the media brand have hovered near the $6.15 mark since news of the sale, that was not the end of the story. Sequential's offer sparked interest from other parties, including Meredith Corp., Iconix Brand Group, Global Brands and Authentic Brands. According to the agreement, Stewart's company has 30 days to solicit other offers.
Now what: Activist investor Plymouth Lane Capital Management has also called for MSLO to find a better bid, claiming Sequential Brands' offer undervalues the stock and that the company should go through a "robust marketing process" to find a better offer.
As of this writing, no other offer has emerged, however, the possibility of a second offer remains, meaning the stock should stay above $6.15. Any dip below that figure would be a buying opportunity, as a payoff of $6.15 is virtually guaranteed. However, with the stock closing July 8 at just $6.19 currently, the market seems to think a better deal is unlikely to occur.