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Viacom takes over Paramount

NEW YORK — Viacom Inc. said Friday it has taken control of Paramount Communications.

Viacom said it bought 61.66 million shares, or 50.1%, of Paramount.

The cash-and-stock deal is valued by Wall Street analysts at $ 9.5 billion to $ 10.1 billion.

The moved followed by a day merger partner Blockbuster Entertainment’s $ 1.25 billion investment in Viacom, completing the first part of the estimated $ 9.8 billion Par merger.

Viacom beat out QVC Network Inc. in a prolonged fight for the media and entertainment giant. After numerous rounds of bidding and legal maneuvering, Paramount last month accepted Viacom’s sweetened offer of $ 107 a share for slightly more than half of Par’s outstanding stock.

Viacom also said it designated a majority of the Paramount board of directors to remain in that capacity until Paramount becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom, it said.

Viacom owns and operates a large group of basic and premium networks, including MTV, MTV Europe, Showtime, VH-1, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite and the Movie Channel.

Paramount’s stock was off 25 cents at $ 44.50 on the New York Stock Exchange at Friday’s close. Viacom’s Class B shares finished at $ 25.88, up 25 cents on the American Stock Exchange.

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