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iVillage Gets Unsolicited Offer

Women's online community iVillage Inc. over the weekend received an unsolicited offer from Growth Capital Corp. to purchase 1.4 million shares of its stock for $22 per share, which the company has encouraged shareholders to refuse.

Growth Capital, which has had no prior business relationship with iVillage (IVIL), is offering a "mini-tender" offer, which amounts to less than 5 percent of iVillage's outstanding shares.

iVillage released a statement to shareholders recommending they vote against the purchase. The company also warned that Growth Capital's offer expires March 21, but it may be extended by 30 days. Shareholders would not receive payment until the offer expires, and the price of $22 would be final, even if the price rose beyond that before the expiration date.

iVillage closed Friday at $23.875 per share, and was trading at $24.125 in morning trading Monday.

According to published reports, this is not the first tender offer Growth Capital, an investment firm, has issued. The Wall Street Journal reported that in January the company made an unsolicited move to buy 1.5 million shares of Internet service provider Voyager.net Inc. for $10 a share.