Murdoch bids for FininvestFast on the heels...


Murdoch bids for Fininvest

Fast on the heels of this week's announcement that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. was forming a global media partnership with MCI Communications comes news that he has made an offer to acquire a big stake in Fininvest, the media conglomerate owned by Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's former prime minister.

Mauro Crippa, a Fininvest spokesman, confirmed that Mr. Murdoch had made an offer, but he declined to elaborate on the details.

He also confirmed that other investors interested in Fininvest included Prince Walid bin Talal, the Saudi investor who recently acquired a stake in the Euro Disney theme park outside Paris; Leo Kirch, the German media entrepreneur based in Munich and Time Warner Inc.

According to Italian news reports, Mr. Murdoch has offered to pay $2.8 billion for a 51 percent share in Fininvest's three national television channels and its advertising operation.

FTC OKs Lockheed-Martin deal

An agreement to allow Martin Marietta Corp.'s $10 billion merger with Lockheed Corp. has won final Federal Trade Commission approval.

The action, announced by FTC yesterday, eliminated the final legal step in the creation of the Lockheed Martin Corp., the world's largest military hardware manufacturer. Final approval was largely a formality, ratifying a settlement announced in January.

Oncor moving to ASE

Oncor Inc., a Gaithersburg biotechnology company, said yesterday that its common stock will move to the American Stock Exchange, under the symbol ONC, on Monday. OncorMed Inc., a subsidiary, will move to the American Stock Exchange under the symbol ONM on the same day.

Oncor has previously been listed on the Nasdaq National Market, and OncorMed on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market.

Hilton stock drops again

Hilton Hotels Corp. stock fell for the second day after the company said Thursday it would spin off its casino business, disappointing investors who expected the hotelier would be sold.

Shares in Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Hilton closed down $1.75, at $69.50, on trading of 907,100, more than five times their three-month daily average of 170,500. The stock was down 11 percent from its close at $77.75 Wednesday.

U.S. Shoe shares sold

Luxottica Group SpA, an Italian eyewear maker, said yesterday it has acquired 97 percent of the shares of the United States Shoe Corp., completing a $1.4 billion takeover of the Cincinnati-based company.

The tender offer expired Thursday after a shareholders' meeting.

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