money digest


Date set for MPD takeover review

A May 18 court date has been set to consider a bid by Movie Distribution Income Fund to veto the proposed CAN$2.3 billion ($2 billion) takeover of domestic broadcaster Alliance Atlantis Communications by CanWest Global Communications and equity partner Goldman Sachs and Co. Toronto-based Movie Distribution Income Fund, which holds a 49% stake in indie distributor Motion Picture Distribution Lp., went to court last week to secure a say in who the Canadian partner will be after Goldman Sachs purchases the entire movie distribution unit, which includes Alliance Atlantis' 51% controlling stake. Canadian law requires that Goldman Sachs have a Canadian partner to exercise effective control over MPD as movie distribution companies are considered culturally sensitive entities.

WWE gains on ratings news

Shares of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. rose 4.2% on Wednesday to $16.82 after Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Michael Kelman issued a "positive" rating on the stock. The company "is experiencing a cyclical upswing in its business, having emerged from a trough around two years ago," he wrote. Kelman also said downside to the stock "should be relatively cushioned by its healthy 6% dividend yield," and he speculated that in the next two to three years it will increase its payout to shareholders.

Pay raises for XM pair

XM Satellite Radio said Wednesday that it is raising the salaries of its chairman and CEO and established severance agreements for some executives because of its proposed merger with Sirius Satellite Radio. XM is lifting CEO Hugh Panero's base salary from $650,000 to $700,000 for the period of April 4-March 31, 2008, and chairman Gary Parsons' base salary from $475,000 to $525,000 for the period of Aug. 6-March 31, 2008.