CBS Management Refuses To Meet With Largest Shareholder
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Investor Ivan F. Boesky has been refused a meeting with the management of CBS Inc., the company said Tuesday, a day after Boesky reported he has bought 8.7 percent of CBS’s shares.
Boesky now owns the largest single block of the media company - 2,587,000 shares. However, the New York-based investor said he does not want to acquire control of the corporation.
Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday show the purchases were made between Feb. 27, when the stock sold for $80.594 a share, and April 1, when he paid as much as $108.50 a share. He spent $247,139,078.73 for the shares, an average price per share of $95.53.
At mid-afternoon Tuesday, CBS stock was trading at 105.875, down $2.125. Earlier in the day it was trading at lower prices.
The filing, called a schedule 13-D, was required when Boesky reached a threshold of 5 percent ownership. That event occurred March 20, according to the SEC documents.
William S. Paley, chairman of the CBS board’s executive committee, holds about 6.5 percent of the shares.
Marilyn Borrometi of Ellis Associates, a public relations firm representing Boesky, quoted him as saying, ″I am pleased to be a significant shareholder in CBS. As I indicated in my schedule 13-D, I believe that the current market price of CBS stock does not adequately reflect the value of CBS.″
In 1984, CBS had a profit of $212.4 million, or $7.15 a share, on revenue of $4.92 billion.
Boesky continued: ″I wish to be supportive of CBS management and to encourage CBS to take action which would result in the market price of its stock more adequately reflecting its value. In that connection, I have requested an opportunity to meet with CBS management.″
Anne Luzzatto, CBS’s corporate information director, said, ″In response to press inquiries regarding Mr. Boesky’s request for a meeting with CBS management, CBS said Mr. Boesky had requested a meeting last week and at that time CBS advised Mr. Boesky that CBS saw no reason to meet.″
Boesky said he got the money for his transactions from working capital from a number of corporations he controls and from loans.
Meanwhile, in a statement released in Raleigh, N.C., Sen. Jesse Helms said allies of his effort to exert editorial control over CBS News are trying to raise $150,000 so they can contact stockholders before the company’s April 17 annual meeting.
″When the necessary funds have been raised, Fairness in Media will contact the stockholders to determine who and how many agree that CBS reporting has been unfair to President Reagan,″ Helms, R-N.C., said in a statement released by the conservative advocacy group, an offshoot of Helms’ National Congressional Club.
″CBS may as well get ready: We believe their days of misleading the public are nearing an end,″ Helms said.
Helms said the effort may cost as much as $150,000, and he said the group must raise $32,000 of that in the next two weeks, ″if the project of contacting CBS stockholders is to succeed.‴
CBS has denied FIM’s allegations that its news coverage has a liberal bias.