Merger offer dies on table with CEOs pointing fingers

NEW YORK: United Business Media (UBM) has withdrawn its

three-month-old unsolicited takeover bid for Medialink Worldwide. But

UBM subsidiary PRNewswire has insinuated that it will instead aim to go

head to head with the electronic media giant.

UBM and Medialink both claim the other did not present an adequate

interest in the takeover deal that could have combined Medialink's

online and video production and distribution capabilities with PRN's

distribution of press releases and related multimedia.

Charlie Morin, CEO of PRN, vowed to continue his current strategy to

expand PRN either through acquisition, growth, or a combination of the

two: "We will pursue a direction that will likely put us in direct

competition with Medialink in the not too distant future."

But Larry Moskowitz, Medialink chairman, president, and CEO, laughed

this off: "I find it humorous that he says this, because they've been

trying to compete with us for at least five years, if not more. If they

do manage to break into the business, we look forward to increased

activity, because it will help grow the market. We hope they will be

honest and honorable and innovative."

Morin said that it was a joint decision of PRN and parent company UBM to

rescind its offer of $5 per share to Medialink stockholders.

Media-link stock fell dollars .55, from $2.75 to $2.20, on

the day of the announcement, while UBM's Nasdaq-listed stock fell

dollars .10, from $7.50 to $7.40.

Moskowitz said his shareholders had deemed the UBM offer totally


"Our largest shareholders deemed the long-term value of Medialink as far

more valuable (than the UBM offer)," said Moskowitz. He added that he

was not impressed with UBM's fortunes.

"We did have to take note of the serious deterioration of their

business," said Moskowitz, naming numerous stock downgrades and waves of

layoffs as his main concerns.

Morin made a similar argument against Medialink, saying he felt the

company's recently announced poor performance brings into question

Medialink's valuation as it stands. However, Morin said that the main

reason UBM withdrew its offer was a lack of reaction from Medialink.

"We offered to present our version of a joint vision of the company to

his board of directors, and they refused," said Morin. "If the offer was

inadequate, it was never brought to our attention, because they never

engaged us."

Moskowitz said Morin's comment was completely false, and that Medialink

performed its fiduciary duties.

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