Crown Media Stock Soars on Hallmark Filing

Crown Media Holdings shares soared more than 19% on Tuesday, the day after its largest shareholder said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it was considering taking the Hallmark Channel parent private.

According to an SEC filing June 24, Hallmark Cards, the Kansas City-based greeting card giant, said its standstill agreement with Crown Media expires on Dec. 31. As a result, the company, which currently owns about 90% of Crown Media stock, is evaluating its options. Those include doing nothing; purchasing the remaining stock in Crown it doesn't already own; encouraging Crown's board of directors to initiate a stock repurchase plan; engaging in a short-form merger to eliminate the minority stockholders in Crown or some other "going private" transaction; proposing that Crown's board consider delisting its stock from the NASDAQ Exchange; or disposing all or a portion of its investment in Crown in a privately negotiated transaction or series of transactions, according to the filing.

Crown Media shares were up as much as 19.7% (41 cents each) in afternoon trading Tuesday to $2.49 per share. The stock closed at $2.48 per share on June 25, its highest close since March 2011.

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