Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke said yesterday that he plans to ask the Federal Communications Commission for permission to proceed with his hostile bid to acquire Multimedia Inc., the South Carolina communications company that produces and syndicates "The Phil Donahue Show."
Multimedia, which owns 43 newspapers, five television stations, 10 radio stations and operates more than 100 cable systems, has told Cooke it has no interest in his bid.
Cooke, who owns about 10 percent of Multimedia and has been trying to stop the company from proceeding with its buyout plan, would need FCC approval to acquire Multimedia because the takeover would involve the transfer of control of broadcast licenses. Cooke said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing yesterday that he "will not involve himself in the operations or management of Multimedia during the period of trusteeship." Former Minnesota senator Eugene McCarthy will act as Cooke's trustee in the event he acquires financial control of Multimedia while his FCC application is still pending, the SEC filing said.
Multimedia's board has rejected Cooke's takeover bid, which includes more than $1 billion in cash. Multimedia, which had $304.4 million in revenue and $33.6 million $2.02 a share in net income last year, has said it will proceed with a plan to exchange $41.25 in cash and $26.54 face amount of 16 percent subordinated discount debentures for each of the company's shares.
Cooke is having a difficult time trying to gain control of Multimedia because South Carolina law requires that mergers be approved by holders of at least two-thirds of the company's outstanding shares.