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September 21, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

US West Willing to Give Up HBO, Warner: The company has proposed to swap its stake in a Time Warner Inc. partnership that owns HBO and Warner Bros. for control of the partnership's cable systems, said Doug Holmes, chief financial officer of US West's media unit. In 1992, US West Inc. bought its 25.5% stake in Time Warner Entertainment for $2.5 billion. Since then, Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin has pressed the Englewood, Colo., telephone company to exit the partnership, but the sides haven't been able to agree on terms. Some of Time Warner's major shareholders have asked Levin to separate HBO and Warner Bros. from the cable systems to help boost the value of Time Warner's shares. Cable is less highly regarded by investors than programming. Holmes said the two companies have come close to resolving their differences several times. Levin ended the discussions, and no talks have taken place recently.

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