Paramount Communications Corp. stock took a sharp rise Friday propelled by rumors of acquisition by a joint venture involving two bulwarks of the cable industry. John C. Malone of Tele-Communications Inc. and Turner Broadcasting Systems’ Ted Turner were said to be in preliminary discussions with senior executives of Paramount.
Rumors of Turner’s march on Paramount have been ongoing for more than a month. It was believed he was initially partnered with the Philips Corp., but that company was unwilling to proceed quickly into negotiations.
There are still many major hurdles to clear for a Turner/TCI bid. Time Warner’s 19% stake in Turner would make the joint venture impossible under presently constituted FCC ownership/operations regulations.
The sole remaining independently owned Hollywood studio, Paramount has been the subject of intense speculation and criticism from the Wall Street community for several years. The primary attack on the company has been its cash-rich status and sluggishness to diversify.