Capital Markets

Primedia Mulls 6:1 Reverse Stock Split

Company management believes the move will make the stock’s trading price more stable and make shares more alluring to institutional investors.
Stephen TaubJune 22, 2007

Primedia Inc. reported in an 8-K form on Friday that it might implement a reverse stock split, exchanging one new share for every six existing shares owned by stockholders.

The struggling media company said the split may occur before or after the closing of the proposed sale of its Enthusiast Media Division to Source Interlink for nearly $1.2 billion in cash. The holders of a majority of Primedia’s common and preferred shares entitled to vote thereon have consented to the proposed amendment, so no additional vote is required for the split.

Shares of Primedia, the parent company of Consumer Source Inc., a publisher of free consumer guides, are currently trading under $3. They have traded in the range of $1.33 to $3.40 each during the past 52 weeks.

Reverse splits are common among companies whose stock is trading in the low single digits. The goal of a reverse split is to cut the number of outstanding shares of common stock and boost the market value per share of the remaining shares.

The company’s management said in another regulatory filing that it believes the split will improve the stability of its stock’s trading price and make the stock more attractive to institutional investors. Primedia also asserted that the reverse split would reduce “the relatively high transaction costs and commissions” incurred by shareholders that have resulted from the currently low per-share trading price and high number of shares outstanding.