DISNEY GETS SHAREHOLDERS OK; TIME WARNER/TURNER ROADBLOCK?
Published January 5, 1996
Shareholders of Walt Disney Co. and Capital Cities/ABC "overwhelmingly" approved Disney's $19B takeover of yesterday after meeting separately in New York. The deal cannot be finalized until approval by the FCC, most of whose employees are furloughed in the current government shutdown. Disney officials "were confident of gaining approval soon after the government resumes business" (Mike Dorning, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/5). NBR's Scott Gurvey said "sources say it should take about four weeks to close the deal once government approval arrives" (PBS, 1/4). Disney Chair Michael Eisner sought to allay concerns among ABC News execs that Disney might try to "exert some control" over the news. Eisner: "ABC will continue to operate in the public interest without corporate interference" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/5). NOT SO FAST: The antitrust review of Time Warner's bid for Turner Broadcasting "is expected to drag into summer, heightening concerns the deal could fall apart," according to Gruley & Shapiro of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Analysts contend that the longer the deal is reviewed by the FTC, the more difficulty the two sides will have in closing the agreement. But sources close to Time Warner say the deal could be approved as early as May, if the FTC "demands no changes in the transaction" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/5).