Score majority stake on block


TORONTO -- The majority shareholder of Score Media Inc., which runs Canada's headline sports cable channel, said Friday that it will put its controlling stake on the auction block.

Levfam Holdings, the investment vehicle for the Levy family of Toronto, said the formal auction follows minority shareholder Alliance Atlantis Communications' decision to pass on purchasing Levfam's 37.8% stake (representing 55.7% of voting shares) in Score Media for CAN$2.90 ($2.70) per share.

Alliance Atlantis already has a 22.3% nonvoting stake in Score Media but is set to be taken over by Goldman Sachs & Co. and its Canadian partner CanWest Global Communications.

On June 20, Levfam offered Alliance Atlantis the first-look option on the Levy family stake as part of a November 2000 shareholders agreement.

Score Media operates the Score, a domestic headline sports cable channel that features live sports events in primetime.

Toronto-based Genuity Capital Markets will advise Levfam as it possibly unloads the Levy family stake. Genuity also is advising CanWest Global Communications on its CAN$2.3 billion ($1.99 billion) takeover offer of Alliance Atlantis in partnership with Goldman Sachs.

Shares in Score Media were unchanged Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange at CAN$2.05, down from a recent 52-week high of CAN$2.60 as the company's stock soared on the offer to Alliance Atlantis.