French Media Group Said to Be Mulling CBS Bid
PARIS (AP) _ French media group Havas SA is said to be mulling an offer by Turner Broadcasting System to join it in a bid to acquire the U.S. television network CBS Inc.
Havas spokeswoman Anne Brucy confirmed Friday that the French company had been invited to consider ``a number of joint projects″ with American media mogul Ted Turner’s company. Brucy declined to say whether those projects included a bid for CBS.
But a Havas source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Friday that the deal was under consideration, although Havas would be able to contribute only $400 million to $600 million.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Turner approached Havas about investing $1 billion in a rival bid for CBS, which already has agreed to be acquired by Westinghouse Electric Corp.
``If we do invest, it will be within Havas’ norms,″ the source said, adding: ``Havas is in no hurry, but Turner is.″
The French newspapers La Tribune Desfosses and Les Echos, citing ``sure sources,″ reported Friday that Turner had met with Havas Chairman Pierre Dauzier on a bid to acquire CBS.
Brucy said Havas Chairman Pierre Dauzier met with Ted Turner in July and that they discussed a number of possible joint projects.
Turner’s Atlanta-based company declined through a spokesman to comment on the CBS reports.
Turner has long expressed an interest in acquiring a television network, and in the early 1980s made an aborted bid for CBS.
Last month, Westinghouse made a $5.4 billion deal to buy CBS. Turner must act quickly to make a counter-offer.