Shares of Fisher Communications rose almost 10 percent after the Seattle-based owner of radio and television stations disclosed an unsolicited...

Share story

Shares of Fisher Communications rose almost 10 percent after the Seattle-based owner of radio and television stations disclosed an unsolicited takeover offer.

The board rejected the $43- to $45-a-share cash bid from an unidentified “financial” buyer in April after its board unanimously concluded it wasn’t in the best interest of shareholders, Fisher said Monday in a statement.

The offer was as much as 41 percent more than Fisher’s $31.86 closing price June 20. In April, the stock’s highest closing price was $32.76.

Fisher shares jumped $3.05, or 9.6 percent, Monday to close at $34.91, for its biggest gain since Nov. 1, 2001. The shares have fallen 8 percent this year.

The company disclosed the offer after its third-largest shareholder, TowerView, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier Monday that it had heard of the proposal and the board’s rejection.

The New York-based investment firm said it owns 9.5 percent of Fisher’s shares and disclosed the bid because it “does not wish to have any constraints on its ability to trade” the stock.

The offer valued Fisher at as much as $393 million, based on shares outstanding as of May 1.

Fisher, whose flagship properties are Seattle’s KOMO TV and radio, said last month it may sell its Fisher Plaza development, an office and data-center complex that houses company headquarters and its local radio and TV stations.

The company also has been feuding with its largest shareholder, a group of funds controlled by Mario Gabelli that owns about 19 percent of Fisher, according to a June 20 regulatory filing.

Fisher is to receive approximately $157 million when its 2.3 million shares in Safeco are purchased in Liberty Mutual Group’s buyout of the Seattle insurer.

Gabelli has urged the money be spent on a share repurchase, “as a way to enhance the intrinsic value of the remaining Fisher shares with less risk and more certainty than your pursuit of acquisitions.”

But in an April 24 letter to Fisher Chief Executive Colleen B. Brown, Gabelli complained that “our suggestion was dismissed.”