Martha Stewart Living Retains Blackstone to Review Proposals; Shares Soar

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) Inc., owner of the namesake magazine and TV show, retained Blackstone Group LP (BX) to help it review proposals from parties interested in partnering or investing in the company. The shares soared.

The parties have also expressed interest in “exploring other opportunities,” New York-based Martha Stewart Living said today in a statement. Founder Martha Stewart, the company’s largest shareholder, said she supports “this initiative to take our business and iconic brand to the next level.”

Martha Stewart Living also said Lisa Gersh, former head of Oxygen Media, will join the company as president and chief operating officer, effective June 6. Martha Stewart Living is trying to revive sales growth after three years of falling revenue. Sales fell 5.7 percent last year to $230.8 million.

The company also said it expects Martha Stewart will rejoin the board in the third quarter.

Martha Stewart Living jumped 76 cents, or 20 percent, to $4.53 at 9:31 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had fallen 15 percent this year before today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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