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Martha Stewart Living shares slide after $353-million takeover bid: ‘A fizzle-out end for once empire’

Martha Stewart, who with her daughter Alexis controls the voting rights of Martha Stewart Living, will serve as chief creative officer of the brand and take a seat on the board.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. slumped around 14 per cent after Sequential Brands Group Inc. made an offer to buy the home-decor company for US$6.15 a share, below its closing price on Friday.

Investors had anticipated a greater price. Through Friday, the shares had jumped 37 percent over 2 days amid reports of the imminent takeover by Sequential Brands, who owns the Avia workout gear and Caribbean Joe island wear brands. That\’s adding to a year-to-date gain that was already the best for Martha Stewart Living since 2009.

The shares declined to US$6.02 at 10:35 a.m. New York time, after falling to US$5.97 for that biggest intraday decline since August 2011.

The deal – worth about US$353 million according to shares outstanding as of March 31 – is going to be paid 50 per cent in stock and 50 per cent in cash, Sequential said Monday in a statement. Martha Stewart, who with her daughter Alexis controls the voting rights, assists as chief creative officer of the brand and take a seat on the board, according to the statement.

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