Par firm on deadline

Paramount Communications Inc. said yesterday it notified counsel for Viacom and QVC Network that it will not alter its deadline for bids of 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 1.

Paramount said both bidders have had “more than a reasonable time” to present a bid providing maximum value to shareholders.

“It is in the best interests of Paramount and its shareholders to now conclude the bidding process and the sale of Paramount in a timely manner,” the studio said in a statement.

It added any amendment to either portion — cash or stock — of the offer after that deadline would violate the bidding procedures.

As of Thursday’s closing bell, QVC’s bid was worth $ 85.97 per share and Viacom’s bid was valued at $ 80.22 per share. QVC shares rose 75 cents to $ 44. 50 and Viacom Class B shares were steady at $ 36.75. Paramount shares added 25 cents to $ 79.88.

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