Clash of The Titans

Paramount's bid imperils the Time-Warner deal and stirs up a brawl

The phone on the desk of Richard Munro, chairman of Time Inc., rang at 6 p.m. last Tuesday. On the line was Martin Davis, chairman of Paramount Communications, a onetime industrial conglomerate that had changed its name from Gulf & Western just the day before. Davis had a stunning message for his fellow chief executive. Although Munro had assurances from Davis that he would not mount a takeover bid for Time, Davis was reneging: he declared that Paramount was launching an offer to acquire Time for $175 a share, or $10.7 billion. Time stock had closed at 126 that day.

Paramount's...

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