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Carlton bids on CD operation

Pitch marks move toward DVD biz

LONDON — Carlton Communications, owner of Technicolor, has launched a $264 million recommended bid for Nimbus CD Intl., the Nasdaq-traded manufacturer of CD-ROMs and DVDs.

This marks a significant move by Carlton to help Technicolor expand into the DVD business.

Technicolor, the world’s largest film processing and video duplication company, already has capacity to make 5 million DVDs a year and is investing $10 million to raise that figure to 15 million. The acquisition of Nimbus will double that figure again to 30 million.

Carlton’s bid for Nimbus has already been accepted by 44% of the American company’s shareholders, including its management. Nimbus, based in Charlottesville, Va., reported pre-tax profits of $21 million last year on sales of $130 million.

Michael Green, Carlton’s chairman, said, “Just as the company added videocassettes to its film operations in the ’80s, now we are adding optical discs in the ’90s. The penetration of VCRs, DVD players and PC disk drives are all growing as part of the worldwide expansion of screen-based entertainment.”

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