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Davis Reveals Stake in Spelling Productions

August 29, 1986|AL DELUGACH | Times Staff Writer

Marvin Davis, former owner of 20th Century Fox Film Corp., disclosed Thursday that he and his sons have invested nearly $12 million and acquired 10.6% of the outstanding Class A common stock of Aaron Spelling Productions, a major producer of television series for the ABC network.

Since Davis and Spelling are known in Hollywood as close friends, the purchase is widely considered to be just an investment, not a prelude to a takeover attempt.

Also, sources close to the situation indicated Thursday that Davis' purchase was unrelated to a 5.9% acquisition in the Class A stock by Cincinnati financier Carl H. Lindner and his company, American Financial Corp., disclosed Aug. 20.

Aaron Spelling, 63, who made an initial public offering of stock in his Los Angeles-based company earlier this summer, assured himself solid control of 68.7% of the voting shares by retaining ownership of all of its Class B stock.

Aaron Spelling Productions has declined comment on both the Lindner and Davis stock purchases. However, some sources say the Lindner move apparently also has been viewed by the company as a positive factor.

Its stock closed Thursday at $14.87 1/2, down 62 1/2 cents, on the American Stock Exchange. The stock price had risen after news of Lindner's purchase.

The filing that disclosed the Davis stock acquisition to the Securities and Exchange Commission said Marvin Davis owns 6.9% of the firm's Class A stock while his sons John and Gregg own the remainder of the stake. The elder Davis, who made a fortune in oil, bought the Fox studio in June, 1981, and sold it last year to publisher Rupert Murdoch.

Aaron Spelling Productions currently has four TV series on ABC: "Dynasty," "Hotel," "The Colbys" and "Life with Lucy."

It has four other series in syndication.

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