CBS takeover talks reportedWalt Disney Co. has...


CBS takeover talks reported

Walt Disney Co. has teamed with ex-studio chief Barry Diller in takeover talks with CBS Inc., an entertainment industry newspaper reported yesterday.

The Hollywood Reporter, citing sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was a serious restart in negotiations.

Last summer, Mr. Diller, former chief of 20th Century Fox Inc. and former chairman of home shopping network operator QVC Inc., tried and failed to orchestrate a merger.

Disney would not comment on the report, and a CBS spokesman and Mr. Diller were not immediately available to comment.

Dart stock surges 20 percent

Dart Group Corp. shares shot up 20 percent yesterday as the Landover-based retailer considers a $130 million stock buyback or special dividend to boost its stock price.

Dart is considering the sale of its 50 percent stake in closely held Shoppers Warehouse, according to papers filed in Delaware Chancery Court. Dart would use the proceeds, plus $53 million in cash, for a distribution to stockholders through a dividend of about $74 a share or a stock buyback.

The proposal was made public after the market closed Monday. Dart shares yesterday closed up $14.75, at $89.75, on volume of 69,200 shares, about nine times the three-month daily average.

SAS ordering 35 Boeing 737s

Scandinavian Airline System said yesterday that it will purchase 35 new Boeing 737 jetliners worth $1.16 billion, an order that provides a lift for the Seattle aircraft maker but a blow to McDonnell Douglas Corp.'s plans for a new jet.

The order by Scandinavia's flagship carrier will mark the start of production for Boeing's 737-600. SAS took an option on 35 more planes.

McDonnell Douglas had hoped SAS would be the launch customer for its new MD-95 jetliner.

Beth Steel sets 2% price increase

Bethlehem Steel Corp. plans to increase prices for coated steel sheet by about 2 percent, or $15 a ton, effective on July 2 shipments, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

The nation's second-largest steelmaker, which has a plant in Sparrows Point, cited strong demand as the reason for the rate boost.

PaineWebber weighs job cuts

PaineWebber Group Inc. is considering eliminating more than 500 jobs, or at least 3 percent of its total work force, in an effort to cut its compensation costs, traders at the firm said.

PaineWebber, the nation's third-largest securities firm in number of brokers, didn't make a decision on the cuts during a board meeting yesterday, a person familiar with the firm said.

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