BLOCKBUSTER-VIACOM MERGER APPROVED BY SHAREHOLDERS
Published September 30, 1994
Blockbuster Entertainment shareholders approved the company's merger with Viacom, but not without reservations. About 60% of the 255M eligible shares were cast in favor of the merger (Dupont & Finefrock, MIAMI HERALD, 9/30). In New York, Martin Peers noted that Viacom's Sumner Redstone "is now the world's No. 2 media mogul." 95% of Viacom shareholders approved the deal. The merger makes Viacom the 2nd biggest U.S.-based media company in the world, after Time Warner. In just seven months, Redstone has taken Viacom from a $8.8B company to a $26B giant, following takeovers of Paramount and Blockbuster (N.Y. POST, 9/30). CNN interviewed Redstone and Viacom CEO Frank Biondi. Redstone: "We relentlessly refused to let the Blockbuster merger die." Redstone denied "reports and rumors" that Viacom is looking to buy CNN. Biondi pointed out the importance of having a net, but that the price of buying one would not be a "rational" purchase ("Moneyline," CNN, 9/29). WHAT'S NEXT FOR HUIZENGA? Friends have speculated that Huizenga would initially focus on his sports teams. But Huizenga notes: "You can't build a sports team." He ideally would like to acquire a company with sales between $300M and $500M and double its size. Huizenga: "At that size, you can double and double and double again." Some associates expect Huizenga to buy or start a cable network or broadcast TV station to showcase his sports teams. Others close to him expect him to acquire from Viacom the planned 2,500-acre entertainment complex -- Wayne's World -- that Blockbuster wants to develop (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/30).