Cable giant TCI splits into four businesses

November 18, 1994|By New York Times News Service

Tele-Communications Inc., the nation's largest cable television operator, said yesterday that it planned to reorganize itself into four separate business groups and issue stock in each of them.

The parent company would continue to exist as a holding company with interests in each of the four divisions after spinning them off.

The divisions would focus on domestic cable television and telephone operations, television programming, international operations and technology ventures.

Shares in Tele-Communications, or TCI, have like other cable stocks, been depressed lately as federal reregulation of cable rates affects the company's earnings potential. The reorganization is intended to give investors more flexibility in deciding which Tele-Communications businesses show the most promise.

Moreover, the split-up is apparently aimed at showing that the sum of Tele-Communications' parts are worth more than the company as a whole.

"The advantage of this type of stock -- known as 'tracking stock' -- is that it retains the existing relationships between the operators, and yet investors have more opportunity to pick where they want to play the game," Robert Thomson, a Tele-Communications spokesman, said yesterday.

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