Financial Briefs

BellSouth Corp. asked a federal court in Birmingham, Ala., to declare unconstitutional certain sections of a 10-year-old federal cable law, similar to a suit it filed in Brentwood, Tenn. The suits, which are similar to efforts from most of the other Baby Bell telephone companies, intend to pry open the door that prevents the companies from providing cable service in the same areas in which they provide local phone service.

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Toronto-based IMAX Corp., with its sound affiliate, Sonics Associates Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., has developed a “three-dimensional” motion picture audio system, designed to have sounds track the movement of objects shot in IMAX 3D video. The system uses a headset that combines 3D glasses and sound transducers that don’t interfere with the sound from the six speakers in the IMAX system.

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Granite Broadcasting Corp. has made a public offering of 1,520,000 shares of its cumulative convertible exchangeable preferred stock at $ 25 per share, for a total of $ 38 million in gross proceeds. The net proceeds of the offering, together with borrowings under a new $ 40 million senior bank agreement, will be used to acquire two television stations from Meredith Corp. and repay the firm’s bank indebtedness.

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Rogers Communications Inc. said its wholly owned Rogers Cablesystems Ltd. unit filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission for the sale of a $ C250 million ($ 185 million) issue of senior secured priority notes. Merrill Lynch & Co. is sole underwriter for the offering, which marks the first time Rogers has raised Canadian dollar-denominated debt in the United States. Rogers is Canada’s largest cable company.

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Evergreen Media Corp. said the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. filed a suit to recover 910,407 shares of Evergreen Class B shares owned by Scott K. Ginsburg , the company’s chairman/CEO. Even if the suit is successful, Ginsburg would retain 56.4% of the combined voting power of the company, assuming he exercised all outstanding warrants and options.

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