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.
July 17, 1998 |
Seagram Co. said it will sell Tropicana Products Inc. to the public for as much as $2.86 billion, less than Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. expected, as it raises money to pay for its acquisition of PolyGram in a cooling market for equity sales. The initial public offering of Bradenton, Fla.-based Tropicana, the world's biggest juice company, could raise as much as $2.86 billion, Seagram said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
July 11, 1998 |
Federal regulators have given Seagram Co. the green light to acquire European music giant PolyGram in a $10.4-billion transaction that would create the world's largest record corporation. Seagram and Philips Electronics, the Dutch conglomerate that owns 75% of PolyGram, said this week that the 30-day waiting period required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act expired without a request for additional data from the Federal Trade Commission--a clear signal that U.S.
July 1, 1998 |
Philips Electronics stunned the entertainment world in May, when the Dutch conglomerate decided to sell PolyGram--the world's largest music company and home to such popular acts as Hanson, Sheryl Crow and U2--to Seagram Co. for $10.4 billion. But nobody was more surprised than PolyGram's then-chief Alain Levy, who had been kept in the dark before discovering that Philips, 75% owner of PolyGram, was in talks to sell the company out from under him.
June 24, 1998 |
One day after signing an agreement to buy PolyGram for $10.4 billion, Seagram Co. designated Doug Morris the future head of the combined music entity--the largest record company in the world. Morris, a former songwriter and highly regarded industry veteran, will take over as chairman and chief executive of the record giant, to be named Universal Music Group, following approval of the deal by government regulators--a process that could take five months or more.