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EYE ON THE NETWORK FEEDING FRENZY: DILLER LOOKING AT CBS
Published March 15, 1995
Barry Diller, former Chair of QVC, is seeking financing for a possible bid for CBS Inc., according to execs and investment bankers familiar with the situation. According to those sources, Diller has had meetings with CBS Chair Laurence Tisch and potential financial backers in New York over the past week. The sources also said that Disney Chair Michael Eisner, who had tabled negotiations with Tisch after being unable to agree on a price, has "not re-entered active negotiations." The bankers also "dismissed reports that Eisner and Diller might join forces in an offer for CBS, noting that both men would want to control the network." Eisner worked for Diller at Paramount when Diller was the studio head there (BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS/SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 3/15). The Disney-Diller speculation came from a HOLLYWOOD REPORTER story that quoted unnamed sources as saying Disney is talking with CBS about a possible acquisition, and that thiose talks include Diller (REUTERS/ DAILY VARIETY, 3/15). CBS stock gained 3/4 to close at 67 3/4 on the speculation of Disney and Diller acquiring the network (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 3/15). TURNER/TIME WARNER: The latest round of talks on Time Warner selling back its 19.4% stake in Turner Broadcasting for close to $1.5B ended yesterday without agreement, according to this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL. But, "people on both sides said they still hope to reach a deal." If TBS can complete the agreement with Time Warner, Ted Turner, with the backing of TCI, is expected to make a bid for CBS in excess of $5B. TCI, which owns 20% of TBS, would provide financing for TBS' repurchase of Time Warner's stake, effectively giving TCI close to 40% of Turner equity (Shapiro & Lippman, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/15).