Spelling Entertainment, Republic Pictures in Merger
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Spelling Entertainment Group Inc. and Republic Pictures Corp. said Monday they plan to merge in a deal valued at about $93 million in cash and stock.
The merger had been predicted by analysts this spring when Blockbuster Entertainment Corp., the big video store operator, acquired major stakes in both companies. Blockbuster, based in Miami, has been seeking production companies as it expands.
Spelling, a top television producer, will pay $13 cash for each share of Republic stock under terms of the agreement. Options and warrants for Republic shares will be converted into rights for 1.65 Spelling shares each.
Spelling produces the television series ″Beverly Hills 90210″ and owns more than 55 former network series such as ″Little House on the Prairie,″ ″The Love Boat,″ and ″Dallas.″ It also owns such film hits as ″Basic Instinct″ and ″Terminator 2.″
Republic owns the ″Bonanza″ television series and the John Wayne film library and produces films in the $3 million to $5 million range.
Spelling said it would finance the deal by selling 13.4 million shares in new stock to Blockbuster for about $100 million, bringing Blockbuster’s interest in Spelling to 70.5 percent. Blockbuster also controls more than one- third of Republic shares.
The merger is due to close in January.
Russell Goldsmith, Republic’s chairman and chief executive, will become Spelling’s president and CEO.
Ron Lightstone, Spelling’s chief operating officer, resigned.
Lightstone said he plans to announce a new affiliation soon. He joined Aaron Spelling Productions as executive vice president in 1988, and became COO in December of 1991, by which time the company had become Spelling Entertainment Inc.