TCI Ups Its Stake In UVSG, Buying Out Flinn


Tele-Communications Inc. has added to its controlling stakein United Video Satellite Group by buying out the stock held by former chairman LawrenceFlinn Jr., TCI said last week.

TCI already controlled UVSG, buying stock from Flinnrepresenting about 36 percent of total outstanding shares and 83 percent voting control ina $200 million stock deal in January 1996. Flinn remained as chairman and CEO of the TCIsubsidiary, and retained a large block of UVSG stock.

In November 1996, some 20 years after he bought UVSG, Flinnannounced plans to retire, citing health reasons. He later delayed his retirement untillast June, when Gary Howard was named chairman and CEO. Flinn is UVSG's chairmanemeritus.

Now, TCI has acquired the remaining 12.4 million shares ofFlinn's UVSG stock, yielding 6.3 million shares of TCI Ventures Group and 4.9 millionshares of Liberty Media Group stock to get it.

TCI owns 73 percent of UVSG equity, with 56 percent inVentures Group and 17 percent in Liberty. UVSG will remain a separate publicly traded unitof TCI and remains based in Tulsa, Okla.

The deal helps Flinn -- whose net worth was pegged at $710million by Forbes magazine last year -- diversify his holdings.

TCI had already assigned its UVSG stake to Ventures Group.Liberty had been partners with UVSG in the Superstar/Netlink Group joint venture, and theTCI programming subsidiary noted that UVSG has several programming assets, includingPrevue Channel, Prevue Interactive and UVTV, which distributes the superstations WGN, WPIXand KTLA.

UVSG's share price dropped to $29.19 from $29.25 afterthe transaction was announced last Monday.