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TIMEWARNER CEO PONDERS NBC BUY
Tue Sep 16 2008 18:10:50 ET
Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes doesn't know if NBC Universal is for sale, but if General Electric ever decides put its television and entertainment division on the block, Bewkes will definitely be kicking the tires.
'We have kind of an obligation to look at anything that is out there that, if combined with our company, would produce a clear return for our shareholders," Bewkes tells Portfolio.com in an exclusive interview. "The problem with those speculations is that no one ever knows the price at which any of these things would be available."
Bewkes, who will soon have at least $9 billion to spend from the spinoff of Time Warner Cable, adds: "Look, everyone speculates about what will happen to all of these media companies, and there's a fair amount of speculation as to whether G.E. will decide that the NBC Universal company benefits from being inside G.E. or not.
To the extent it decides it doesn't, then they have to think of what to do with it."
G.E. execs "have to decide what's in their interest," Bewkes adds. "But if they decided not to sell it, they may decide to spin it off, who knows? Anything that comes up, this is true of all the usual suspects, whether it's Scripps or NBC or Discovery, names come up in every sector we're in, and they ask, are we interested in it?"
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