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Paramount completes acquisition of Macmillan

NEW YORK -- Paramount Communications Inc. said Monday it has completed its $552.8 million acquisition of Macmillan Publishing, one of the last jewels in the empire of the late Robert Maxwell.

Paramount won the right to buy Macmillan in a court-supervised auction last November over three other bidders.

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Paramount made the deal in the midst of the takeover battle between Viacom Inc. and QVC Network Inc. Viacom won the fight on Feb. 15 after three-quarters of Paramount shareholders backed Viacom's offer.

With Macmillan, Paramount Publishing will have annual revenues of about $2 billion and about 9,000 employees. Spokesman Andrew Giangola said there will be some cuts of the work force in areas of duplicate functions, but he could not provide details.

'There will be some overlap, but much of what we're acquiring is complementary,' Giangola said.

Paramount's publishing operations now include Simon & Schuster, Prentice Hall, Silver Burdett Ginn and Pocket Books.

Macmillan's assets include three major lines -- college textbooks, consumer group and reference.

The college operations have a strong presence in mathematics, science, english literature and education, while the consumer group includes Scribners and Free Press. Reference operations include Jossey- Bass of San Francisco and an extensive reference library line.

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The Paramount operations, which also include a movie studio, theme parks, TV stations, two sports teams and Madison Square Garden, attracted interest from potential buyers because of hopes that improved technologies will provide entertainment companies with more outlets and cross-marketing of their products.

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