A company's public web forum is shutting down, and I would like to invite the forum's userbase to a new "fan" forum. The userbase is small (less than 100 active users), but the community is not dying of inactivity. Rather, the forums are being artificially shut down. The employee that moderated the forums left the company, and the company doesn't have the resources to continue maintaining it.
The company is unwilling to talk about the forum being closed, and I am unable to contact them. They have expressed no interest in redirecting their forum to my new forum (which is the only "fan" forum) or migrating the forum data to my site.
I am concerned that a public announcement on the current forums would be disrespectful to the company, and give the impression that I am "poaching" users away, although there would be no other online community for this purpose once the official forums close. I would like our community to remain in good standing with the company, in the hopes that they will still have an online community of experts and enthusiasts if they ever re-grow their web presence.
My current thought is that the community is so small that I could privately contact individuals that I want to invite to continue the community at a new forum. Would this action be inappropriate or disrespectful to the forum community and the company? Would any migration be fundamentally inappropriate?