SkyMall Sold to Gemstar-TV Guide

New York—Coming soon: The SkyMall Channel? Possibly, now that the board of directors of the inflight co-op cataloger/i.merchant approved the sale of the company on May 14 to Gemstar-TV Guide International in a cash-and-stock merger agreement. The deal is expected to be completed this summer.

The new parent company owns “TV Guide” magazine, The TV Guide Website, and the Gemstar-TV Guide interactive television guide. Gemstar has been eager to use its interactive guide–an advanced version of a “barker’ channel that provides programming information–as an e-commerce platform. “SkyMall will be a key asset to assist us in accelerating our television-based commerce initiatives,” Gemstar-TV Guide chairman/CEO Henry Yuen said in a statement.

In his statement, SkyMall chairman/CEO Robert Worsley said, “SkyMall has the opportunity to become a part of what we believe is an exciting new frontier in retailing: television-based electronic commerce, in that Gemstar can facilitate its television-based commerce by leveraging the excess capacity of the state-of-the-art commerce engine that SkyMall has built.”

The acquisition will give SkyMall shareholders $1.50 in cash and 0.03759 shares of Gemstar-TV Guide common stock for each common SkyMall share. Gemstar will own all outstanding shares of SkyMall. Worsley will remain CEO of SkyMall.

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