Lawyers for Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke obtained a temporary restraining order yesterday blocking a recapitalization plan by Multimedia Inc., the company that spurned Cooke's $1.08 billion takeover offer.
The order came after attorneys for Cooke filed suit in state court in Greenville, S.C., against the proposal. The order bars the company from going through with the plan until after a formal court hearing on the suit, scheduled for June 3.
"The suit seeks to restrain and enjoin the so-called recapitalization plan until such time as other offers are afforded a chance to be heard by the stockholders," said Cooke attorney Fletcher C. Mann.
In a statement, Multimedia chief financial officer Donald Barythe said it is "a reasonable assumption" that the company will fight the suit.
Earlier, Multimedia's directors rejected Cooke's bid to buy the diversified media company's stock for "more than $65 a share," asserting that the company is not for sale.
Cooke, who says his 9.7 percent stake in Multimedia makes him its single largest shareholder, said in a statement that he "filed this suit to protect the investments of thousands of Multimedia shareholders who are being financially discriminated against by not being allowed to get a fair price for their Multimedia stock."
The company said that members of its founding families had considered Cooke's proposal and chosen not to support it. The families are all from Greenville.
The family members also told the board that they continued to support the recapitalization proposal -- a partial buyout by management that would leave only a few shares in public hands. The plan calls for the company to pay $41.24 a share in cash plus $26.54 in bonds, with shareholders having an option to sell some shares while retaining some equity in the company.
Multimedia owns 43 newspapers, five television and 10 radio stations; it also runs more than 100 cable television franchises and produces and television programming.
Cooke's holdings include the Washington Redskins football team and Elemendorf Farm Inc., a big racing stable in Kentucky.