TCI-TIME WARNER TALKS OFF, OR IS MALONE JUST "POSTURING?"
Published March 28, 1995
TCI has ended negotiations to buy out Time Warner's 18% stake in TBS. Industry insiders said TCI "balked" at Time Warner's price, about $1.6B or $18/share. TBS execs declined to comment. But in Atlanta, Charles Haddad writes, "The failed negotiations represent a setback for the company." That TCI has stepped away from the table is also "not good news for Time Warner." Industry analysts do not see anyone else who would be willing to pay a premium for its TBS stake. Time Warner's TBS stake has a market value of about $980M, but the company says it will not accept less than $1.6B. Time Warner has been seen as one of the roadblocks preventing Turner Chair Ted Turner from buying a broadcast network (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/28). Talks stalled between TCI and Time Warner because the two could not agree how the deal would be financed, according to today's N.Y. TIMES. But several analysts said TCI's announcement may have simply been a "negotiating tactic" (Mark Landler, N.Y. TIMES, 3/28). This morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL also notes that people close to Time Warner insist that TCI is just "posturing, and that the accord isn't dead" (Shapiro & Sharpe, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/28).