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Time Gets Tongue-in-Cheek Offer From a Rival Weekly

June 17, 1989|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Nation, the 125-year-old weekly magazine, jumped into the takeover fray for Time Inc. on Friday--but its buyout proposal offered more in the way of wry commentary than cash or stocks.

"Ever since the Reagan Administration abandoned its enforcement of the antitrust laws and the congressional Democrats abandoned their plan to put a cap on conglomerate size, we've been looking for a way to do our part to protect the free enterprise system," wrote Editor Victor Navasky. "Now we have found it."

Navasky said he made his overture in a letter to Time Chairman J. Richard Munro that is being reprinted in the July 3 issue of The Nation, due to appear on newsstands next week.

"A white knight is coming to your rescue," Navasky wrote Munro, who heads the Time board that on Friday rejected a $10.7-billion buyout offer from Paramount Communications Inc.

Mimicking the lingo of investment bankers--and casting a broadside at the debt-financed buyout trend of the 1980s--Navasky wrote that his company was highly confident it could do better than Paramount's $175-a-share bid.

"Like other potential suitors, our plan is to pledge the assets of Time Inc. as collateral on the loan we take to buy you out, so cash will be no problem," he wrote.

In support of the bid, Navasky noted that The Nation, which has been published continuously since 1865 and lost money for all but three of those years. "Our tax-loss carryforward is staggering," he said.

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