Martha Stewart Living shares soar on deal report

martha stewart
Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia jumped 26.2% following a report that the company is nearing a takeover.

Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) jumped 26.2% following a report that the company is nearing a takeover.

The potential deal with Sequential Brands (SQBG) was first reported by the Wall Street Journal Thursday afternoon. Both companies declined to comment.

In November 2014 the lifestyle and media company discontinued its flagship Martha Stewart Living magazine and handed over control of Martha Stewart's wedding magazines to Meredith Corporation.

First quarter earnings were dismal, with revenue down 49% over the same period last year.

CEO Dan Dienst said in May 5 that the company will refocus on creating original content and landing new licensing deals. It brokered deals with PetSmart and Staples (SPLS) earlier in 2015.

Stewart formed Martha Stewart Living after buying out Time Inc.'s shares of Martha Stewart Enterprises in 1997. She stepped away from a leadership role after she was indicted for securities fraud in 2003, and was banned from holding an executive seat by the SEC until 2011.

Stewart later rejoined the board of directors, but then a licensing dispute took center stage.

Macy's (M) sued Stewart Living for agreeing to sell home goods products at J.C. Penney (JCP) despite an existing contract with Macy's.

The companies have since settled, but Martha Stewart Living has posted a loss for the last five years.

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