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Japanese Banks to Extend $2 Billion Loan for Paramount Purchase

June 16, 1994

TOKYO (AP) _ Nine major Japanese banks will loan $2 billion to Viacom Inc. to help fund its purchase of Paramount Communications Inc. earlier this year, one of the participating banks said today.

The Japanese loans will cover about one-third of the total purchase price of $6.8 billion, said Miki Kase, a spokeswoman for the Bank of Tokyo.

Six of the nine banks extended a total of $765 million as a tentative loan in February, shortly after Viacom purchased Paramount. Banks that wanted to participate in the loan deal had up until the end of last week to apply.

Other Japanese lenders include Mitsubishi, Sanwa, Fuji, Industrial Bank of Japan, Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, Dai-Ichi Kangyo, Sumitomo and Mitsubishi Trust.

Viacom, which owns MTV, Showtime, Nickelodeon and other cable channels, won the bidding battle for Paramount in February after a five-month showdown with QVC Network.

The battle for the entertainment and publishing conglomerate became a symbol of the high stakes involved as technology promises to transform how entertainment, information and services are delivered to consumers.

But Viacom has been facing trouble running Paramount while completing a merger with video retailer Blockbuster Entertainment Corp., a plan they announced to fend off the QVC buyout offer.

The takeover battle was set off in September when Paramount and Viacom agreed on a $8.2 billion cash and stock merger. The final deal was worth about $10 billion, including $6.6 billion in cash.