TCQVC gears for new Paramount bidHome shopping powerhouse...

BUSINESS DIGEST

November 06, 1993

TC

QVC gears for new Paramount bid

Home shopping powerhouse QVC Network Inc. is reshaping its alliances with other companies in preparation for a new bid to win entertainment conglomerate Paramount Communications Inc., analysts said yesterday.

Emphasizing its focus on the Paramount bid, QVC ended long-running merger talks with Home Shopping Network Inc. yesterday. The company also may be getting closer to bringing regional telephone company BellSouth Corp. into its bidding group, according to published reports.

"QVC is absolutely determined to own Paramount," said PaineWebber analyst Wolfgang Armbruster.

The prize has eluded QVC because of Paramount's close ties with Viacom Inc., with which it has agreed to merge. Since it first approached Paramount in September, QVC has steadily added allies and financial backers.

Icelandair selects Howard County

Icelandair will move its U.S. headquarters from New York to Howard County, it was announced yesterday.

The airline's administration, reservation and sales operation will be moved to Columbia and will have 35 employees, said Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

The company said it chose Maryland over other mid-Atlantic states and Florida because of its increased business out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

IBM chief replaces strategist

IBM Chairman Louis V. Gerstner yesterday replaced the chief strategist he picked less than five months ago with a top personal computer executive considered a rising star at the company.

James A. Cannavino, 49, was named senior vice president for strategy and development, succeeding M. Bernard Puckett, a 26-year IBM veteran who will leave the company.

Mr. Gerstner had named Mr. Puckett, 49, as chief strategist in June. Analysts said the latest changes may signal that Mr. Gerstner has a clearer idea of the direction he intends to take IBM after more than seven months on the job.

United gives union an option

United Airlines offered its Machinists union an option yesterday to preserve more than 5,000 jobs in exchange for cost cuts.

If the offer is accepted, it could revive the fading prospects for the Machinists and pilots unions to buy a majority stake in the carrier.

The airline said it would call off the sale of its catering kitchens, which are set to close next Saturday, putting 5,200 employees out of work, if the kitchen employees accepted a 15 percent pay cut and reductions in benefits.

The Machinists union has said that if the kitchens are sold it will stop trying to buy a 60 percent stake in United's parent, UAL Corp., for roughly $4 billion, including labor concessions.

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