National Lampoon Inc., publisher of the satirical magazine, said Monday it has hired an investment banking firm to help it choose between two competing bids for the company.
The company said it has retained the New York firm of Furman, Seltz, Mager, Dietz & Birney to advise it on the acquisition proposals. Matty Simmons, National Lampoon's chairman, said he expected the board would consider the proposals in a meeting Thursday.
The company has received an $11.7-million bid from an investor group led by entertainment industry executive Mark E. Shanker, who has offered to pay $7.10 for each of the company's 1.6 million shares and 75 cents for each of its 500,000 warrants.
A competing investment group led by Wometco President Anthony Cassara has offered to pay $11.6 million, or $7 a share, and 75 cents for each warrant.
The offers, which the company has characterized as friendly, are subject to the investment groups obtaining financing.
National Lampoon publishes the satirical magazine of the same name and has been involved with several comedy films, including the 1983 film, "National Lampoon's Vacation" and the 1978 blockbuster, "Animal House." Since 1981, however, the company has lost money, largely because of the declining circulation of the National Lampoon magazine. Last year, the company lost $750,000 on revenue of $8.6 million.