February 4, 1999 |
Is the next big thing about to get axed in the Universal Music blood bath? Independent label owners hope so. They are circling the carnage like buzzards, scrambling to identify which recording acts will be slashed as Seagram Co. combines its Universal Music Group with PolyGram, which it purchased last year for $10.4 billion. With nearly 250 acts headed for the chopping block, it is inevitable that at least a few of the artists discarded by Seagram will resurface and make a splash elsewhere.
January 30, 1999 |
A Saudi prince is in the advanced stages of talks with Seagram Co. to buy PolyGram's remaining film assets, sources said. But they cautioned that a deal is far from certain. Seagram, which has been trying to sell PolyGram Filmed Entertainment since May to offset its $10.4-billion purchase of entertainment group PolyGram, declined comment. After failing to get $1 billion for the entire film company, it opted to sell it in parts, with MGM Inc. paying $250 million for the movie library.
December 11, 1998 |
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment chief Michael Kuhn on Thursday became the first executive casualty in PolyGram's movie division stemming from Seagram Co.'s $10.4-billion takeover of the music and film giant. Sources said executives from Seagram's Universal Studios Inc. unit told Kuhn of their decision Wednesday on the eve of Thursday's formal takeover of PolyGram. Sources said Kuhn, who led music giant PolyGram's push into Hollywood, is so far the only executive to lose his job.
December 10, 1998 |
Seagram Co. today becomes the world's music superpower as it completes its $10.4-billion purchase of PolyGram. Though the company is instantly transformed into the leader in global market share, it is preparing deep cuts--some much deeper than expected at well-known labels--to reduce costs, raise margins and rest the company's future on a leaner roster of acts most likely to generate profit.
December 4, 1998 |
Like a movie that gets remade every few years, one of Hollywood's most familiar corporate plots is being recycled yet again. An outsider buys a studio, vows to tame a notoriously unruly business, then proceeds to have his lunch eaten. It happened to such huge companies as Coca-Cola Inc., Japanese electronics conglomerates Sony Corp. and Matsushita and insurance company Transamerica. Now, it's spirits giant Seagram Co.'s turn.
November 5, 1998 |
Viacom Inc.'s earnings from continuing operations soared in the third quarter, thanks to video sales of "Titanic," continued strength of its cable networks such as MTV, a strong year from Paramount Pictures and the ongoing turnaround at its Blockbuster Video unit. Net income in the quarter ended Sept. 30 dropped 68% to $138.4 million, or 34 cents a share.
November 2, 1998 |
The Securities Exchange Commission has approved Seagram Co.'s registration statement for the tender offer of shares for PolyGram. The move paves the way for an early-December closing of the $10.4-billion transaction, which will create the world's largest recording corporation.
October 22, 1998 |
PolyGram is going out with a bang. Operating profit at the global music giant soared 38% in the third quarter--the final period for which PolyGram will report results before it is to be swallowed by entertainment and liquor giant Seagram Co. in late November. That acquisition will form the largest record company in the world.
September 18, 1998 |
EMI dropped out of the bidding for PolyGram Filmed Entertainment a day before the deadline, prompting speculation that Canada's Seagram Co. may have a hard time getting the price it wants. Britain's largest music company was considered a contender for PolyGram, the maker of films including "Bean" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral." Seagram wants to sell the unit to help offset the $10.4-billion cost of acquiring parent PolyGram, the world's largest recorded-music company.
August 13, 1998 |
Seagram Co. squeezed out an unexpected fiscal fourth-quarter profit as strong results from its television and music businesses offset lower liquor sales in Asia, sending its shares up 11%. The company, which produces entertainment through Universal Studios and makes Chivas Regal Scotch and other spirits, reported a profit before a gain of $3 million, or 1 cent a share. It was expected to report a loss of 1 cent a share, according to analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. Separately, News Corp.