Shareholder Group Opposes ValueVision Merger with National Media

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The proposed merger between ValueVision International Inc., the shopping channel based in Minneapolis, and infomercial marketing company National Media Corp., Philadelphia, faces opposition from a shareholder group that wants to acquire ValueVision.

Saying that they "do not believe that [ValueVision] should bail out a struggling company," ValueVision shareholders Michael J. Blake and Brian E. Danzis, placed advertising in newspapers indicating their intention to vote against the merger proposal with National Media, which posted a loss of more than $35.4 million on sales of $186.6 million for the nine months ended Dec. 31.

Blake and Danzis control VV Acquisition Corp., a company presumably formed to acquire ValueVision. VV Acquisition made an offer earlier this year for ValueVision, but the company's board of directors voted on Feb. 17 against accepting it. The deal called for payment of $5.50 a share for ValueVision, which consisted of $3.50 in cash and $2 in short-term notes paying 8 percent a year.

ValueVision declined to comment on the stated intention of Blake and Danzis, saying that Securities and Exchange Commission rules prevented it from making public statements about the offer or its effect on the merger with National Media.

"What they [Blake and Danzis] put into their press release is accurate; we did reject their offer," said David Quinby, vice president and general counsel of ValueVision. "We have a proxy on file with the SEC and we're now in a quiet period."

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