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Home Shopping Firm Buys Brokerage and NYSE Seat

November 26, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — Home Shopping Network Inc., the leading shop-from-home television retailer, said Wednesday that it has purchased a regional brokerage firm and a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

Joseph Connolly, chief financial officer for the company, which is based in Clearwater, Fla., said both purchases were part of the company's previously disclosed plans to offer financial services to its customers by mid-1988.

He said the company bought the brokerage firm about three weeks ago, but he declined to identify it or say how the company paid for the brokerage. He said the name and price would be made public later.

A Virginia discount brokerage, Brokers Securities Inc., announced Wednesday that it had held informal talks with Home Shopping about being acquired, but Connolly said that was not the brokerage.

He confirmed that Home Shopping had looked at Norfolk, Va.-based Brokers Securities, but said Home Shopping had "no interest whatsoever in it."

In late September, Home Shopping called off a proposed $40-million acquisition of Baltimore Federal Financial because banking laws appeared to prohibit marketing financial services from the thrift to Home Shopping's registered club members.

Connolly said Home Shopping paid about $750,000 for the seat on the New York Stock Exchange.

The NYSE said it was told a seat was traded Nov. 3 for $700,000 and that the highest price it knows of that was paid for a seat was $1.15 million on Sept. 21, about a month before the mid-October stock price collapse.

Connolly said Home Shopping wanted a seat on the NYSE to avoid having to pay brokerage fees and to have more control over how transactions are handled for its customers. He said the company might buy seats on other stock exchanges.

Home Shopping executives have said they hope to offer insurance, credit cards, stocks, bonds and mutual funds through the company's new financial service.

The company has not determined whether the financial services will be sold the same way it sells merchandise such as jewelry and furs, Connolly said, but the services will be advertised on Home Shopping's two television networks.

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