In a move to add popular television game shows to its entertainment group, Coca-Cola said Tuesday that it has agreed in principle to acquire Merv Griffin Enterprises, the Los Angeles-based producer of "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy."
Terms of the deal call for Coca-Cola to pay an undisclosed amount of cash to privately held Merv Griffin Enterprises, which is owned principally by entertainer Merv Griffin. The sale is subject to a definitive agreement, regulatory review and approval by the board of directors of Coca-Cola.
Asked why Merv Griffin Enterprises decided to sell, Murray Schwartz, president and chief executive, said: "It was the best way for us to maximize on our financial position."
The purchase will put Coca-Cola in the lucrative game-show business for the first time. The Atlanta-based soft-drink company, which began a diversification move into the entertainment business with the purchase of Columbia Pictures Industries in 1982, also owns Embassy Television, Embassy Home Entertainment and a 25% interest in Tri-Star Pictures.