A brand manager announced Monday it would pay $353 million for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, whose founder's popular home decor and lifestyle vision evokes a certain middle-class suburban American dream.
After more than a week of rumors of the looming buyout offer, the boards of the two companies said they had approved the proposal and that founder and main shareholder Martha Stewart would remain with the firm as chief creative officer.
Sequential Brands Group, which acquires and manages mainly clothing brands, proposed $6.15 per share, to be paid half in cash and half in stock.
"This is a transformational merger for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the company I founded in 1997. This merger is positioned to further the growth and expansion of the unique Martha home and lifestyle brand," Stewart said in a statement.
Sequential said the addition to its collection of brands, including Avia sports clothing, Ellen Tracy, and Linens 'n Things, would increase its sales to $3.75 billion.
But Martha Stewart shareholders gave the offer a thumb's down, with the shares falling 14 percent to $5.99 on the New York Stock Exchange.