CBS sells off last electric holding, plugs into media

Deal segues company into 'pure-play' biz

NEW YORK — CBS Corp.’s transformation into a “pure-play media company” became a reality Friday with the sale of Westinghouse Electric Co. for $1.2 billion.

Although the sale itself was expected (Daily Variety, June 24), CBS didn’t identify the buyers — Boise-based Morrison Knudsen Corp. and the U.K.’s British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. — until announcing the deal’s definitive agreement.

Morrison Knudsen, with a 60% stake, will be the lead partner in the joint venture, obtained for $238 million in cash and the assumption of $950 million in debt.

Since August 1997, CBS has sold $5.7 billion in assets of the former Westinghouse as part of its reinvention program.

“With this transaction,” CBS CEO Michael H. Jordan said Friday, “the transformation of the former Westinghouse into the CBS Corp. — a pure-play media company with high free cash flow growth — is complete.”

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