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Seagram: Another round?

After taking a few weeks off, the Seagram Co. is rumored to be back to its old spending habits. Market sources said the Canadian-based distiller bought about a half-million shares of Time Warner stock with a top price of $ 39.38 Tuesday in the open market.

A spokeswoman for Seagram could not confirm the rumor and Time Warner declined comment. Time Warner shares closed 50 cents lower at $ 39.25 on total volume of around 1.23 million shares.

The distiller said Jan. 19 it had acquired 11.7% of Time Warner’s 375 million shares outstanding after buying an initial 5.7% stake last May. It previously said it did not intend to acquire more than 15% of Time Warner.

Directors of the media titan subsequently approved a “poison pill” plan — which some shareholders are fighting in court — to prevent any investor from acquiring control at a discount through open-market purchases. Time Warner chief Gerald Levin has said Seagram has not asked for a board seat.

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