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MCA Reported Considering Purchase of Hanna-Barbera Cartoon Studio

July 19, 1991

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Fred Flinstone and Yogi Bear may soon be working for new bosses. MCA Inc. is reportedly considering buying Hanna-Barbera Productions, which holds the rights to those and other cartoon stars.

MCA has not made a formal offer for the animation company but is conducting research into the company’s assets and liabilities, a source quoted in Thursday’s editions of the Los Angeles Times said.

The newspaper said Hanna-Barbera, owned by debt-burdened Great American Communications Co. of Cincinnati, has been on the block for several months at an asking price of $350 million to $400 million.

But a factor that could complicate a deal is a distribution agreement that binds Hanna-Barbera to Worldvision Enterprises Inc., which is owned by another Great American affiliate, Spelling Entertainment Inc.

Worldvision holds the distribution rights to more than 5,000 half-hour episodes of Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

MCA, which has its own distribution system, is trying to negotiate a deal under which Hanna-Barbera’s ties to Worldvision could be severed, the Times reported.

MCA, acquired recently by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan, already has close ties to Hanna-Barbera. Its Universal Studios Florida theme park includes a Hanna-Barbera attraction.

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