Crown Media Board Authorizes Exploring Alternatives-Including Possible Sale

Aug 18, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Crown Media Holdings, the company that owns the Hallmark Channel, said Thursday that its board of directors has authorized the company to explore strategic alternatives for the company, including a possible sale.

The company said its board had formed a special committee of independent directors to oversee the process.

“After considering various factors, including the strong performance of the Hallmark Channel and the prevailing current economic realities of being a one-channel business in our industry, the board unanimously determined that now is the time to look at all alternatives,” said David Evans, Crown’s president and CEO.

The move to explore selling the company comes just months after Crown sold its international operations for $242 million to a investor team that included private-equity firms Providence Equity Partners and 3i as well as British media executive David Elstein.

It also comes as the Hallmark Channel continues to add subscribers at a brisk pace, nearing 70 million today from slightly over 60 million subscribers at the end of June 2005. However, the channel is unique in that it is one of just a handful of nearly fully distributed channels not owned by a major media company.

Despite making the announcement of the exploration of a sale, Crown officials stressed that there was no assurance it would move forward with a sale.