TIME WARNER TO TARGET DEBT : JOB, ASSET CUTS ENVISIONED TO BOLSTER STOCKS.
Byline: Daily News Wire Services
Time Warner Inc., the world's No. 1 entertainment conglomerate, is gearing up to cut costs and sell assets in an effort to pare its sizable debt load.
Time Warner has told major shareholders that it plans to achieve $200 million to $300 million in cost savings and ``revenue enhancements'' as a result of its purchase of Turner Broadcasting System Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (often abbreviated TBS Networks or TBS, inc.) is the company managing the collection of cable networks and properties started by Robert Edward "Ted" Turner from the mid-1970s to the late-1990s. Inc.
Combined, the companies will have annual revenue of $21 billion and a blue-chip portfolio of assets that links Time magazines, Warner Bros BROS Brothers
BROS Benefits and Retirement Operations Section (King County, Washington)
BROS Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society (London, UK) . movies and music and cable television systems with cable programming brand names such as Cable News Network and The Cartoon Network For Cartoon Network outside of the United States, see .
Cartoon Network is a cable television network created by Turner Broadcasting which primarily shows animated programming. .
But it will also have $17 billion in debt, a management structure with huge potential for conflict, and woefully woe·ful also wo·ful
1. Affected by or full of woe; mournful.
2. Causing or involving woe.
3. Deplorably bad or wretched: undervalued stock An undervalued stock is defined as a stock that is selling at a price significantly below its intrinsic value (finance). For example, if a stock is selling for $50, but can be determined to be worth $100 based on future cash flows, then it is an undervalued stock. .
Big investors are pressing now for Time Warner to restructure its partnership with U S West Inc., calling such a move the single-most important step Time Warner could take to boost its languishing lan·guish
intr.v. lan·guished, lan·guish·ing, lan·guish·es
1. To be or become weak or feeble; lose strength or vigor.
2. stock price.
Investors are calling for Time Warner to shift control of its capital-intensive cable systems, along with billions of dollars in debt, to U S West in exchange for the return of control of Warner Bros. studio and Home Box Office. Time Warner and U S West declined to comment.
The brunt of the cost-cutting is expected to hit Turner Broadcasting's corporate staff. Turner Chairman Ted Turner For other persons named Ted Turner, see Ted Turner (disambiguation).
Robert Edward Turner III (born November 19 1938 has told his troops that the combined companies probably would cut as many as 1,000 jobs and $100 million in expenses. Turner has 8,000 workers; the combined company has 70,000.
A memo distributed to Time Warner and Turner employees Thursday stated, ``The corporate functions of TBS and Time Warner in many respects overlap. Therefore, there will be layoffs.''
The memo added that employees of Turner's news and entertainment networks wouldn't be affected.
While giving no target number, the memo said, ``It is our plan to leave the operation of the networks intact and in Atlanta, and to consolidate the non-network functions in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of and Los Angeles.''
Turner and ``selected'' areas of Time Warner have already imposed a hiring freeze so that vacant jobs can be offered to laid-off employees, according to the memo.
The memo, signed by a committee made up of three Time Warner executives and four Turner executives, said that cost savings would also be achieved through ``purchasing efficiencies'' and the sale of ``redundant physical assets.'' Turner's home video and syndication businesses are expected to be merged into Warner Bros.
The premerger jockeying between Time Warner Chairman Gerald Levin and Ted Turner, who will become a vice chairman of Time Warner and its single-largest shareholder, is being closely monitored by the large shareholders for clues as to how the two men will interact.
Although discussions have proceeded relatively smoothly, there has been some early friction, particularly in regard to Time Warner's eagerness to sell New Line Cinema, one of Ted Turner's prized assets, to raise cash and reduce debt.
Turner objected to the planned sale of New Line, and now he and Levin are hammering out a compromise regarding the movie studio. They are said to currently favor spinning off part of New Line.
Time Warner would keep a piece of the studio, but outside investors would provide the financing for the company's slate of movies. New Line is valued at $1 billion to $1.2 billion.
In trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
World's largest marketplace for securities. The exchange began as an informal meeting of 24 men in 1792 on what is now Wall Street in New York City. , Time Warner closed up 75 cents a share at $37.75. Turner Class B shares were up 62-1/2 cents a share at $27.87-1/2 on the American Stock Exchange American Stock Exchange (AMEX)
Stock exchange in the U.S. Originally known as “the Curb,” it began as an outdoor marketplace in New York City c. 1850. It moved indoors to its present location in the Wall Street area in 1921. .
Photo: (1) LEVIN