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Infinity Broadcasting Settles Shareholder Suits Over Buyout

February 13, 2001|From Bloomberg News

WILMINGTON, Del. — Infinity Broadcasting Corp. settled lawsuits filed by shareholders who said they would be shortchanged in a $15.5-billion buyout by media giant Viacom Inc.

Infinity shareholders are to vote on the buyout next week.

Viacom, the owner of the Blockbuster video chain, Paramount Pictures and CBS Corp., last August offered 0.564 share of Class B Viacom stock for each share of Infinity, a major owner of radio stations and outdoor advertising.

Viacom already controlled all but 36% of Infinity at the time of the offer.

Eleven lawsuits were filed in Delaware Chancery Court by shareholders seeking more money. After negotiations, the stock-swap ratio was increased by 5%, to 0.592 Viacom share, and lawyers on both sides agreed to settle the consolidated lawsuits.

The settlement must be approved by a judge at a later hearing, at which shareholders' lawyers will ask for $2.5 million in fees and expenses.

Shares of New York-based Infinity rose 26 cents to $31.56 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares reached a 52-week high of $39.68 last August.

Class B shares of Viacom rose 40 cents to $53.50 on the NYSE, valuing the Infinity shares at $31.67.

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