'GET BIGGER OR GET OUT,' PARSONS SAYS
April 11, 2006 -- Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, may get rid of smaller units to help fund an expansion of its main businesses, Chief Executive Officer Richard Parsons said.
Parsons, who will already reap more than $1.5 billion by selling a book-publishing unit and a stake in the AOL Web division, said he wants Time Warner's larger units to remain in the No. 1 or No. 2 spots in their respective industries.
"When you're a small player and the buzz is consolidating, you need to get bigger or get out," Parsons said in an interview at the cable industry's annual National Show in Atlanta yesterday.
"We have to keep performing, do some smart things around trimming the portfolio."
Parsons is looking to jettison more units after agreeing to cut costs by $1 billion to end a six-month battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn.
At the same time, Parsons plans to consider acquisitions for the Time Warner Cable unit, the second-largest cable-television provider in the U.S., after integrating assets from Adelphia Communications Corp.
"I'm a one-step-at-a-time kind of guy," Parsons said. "Let's get the Adelphia deal done, folded in and operating properly."
The Adelphia transaction may close next quarter, rather than this quarter as planned, he said.
Adelphia, based in Greenwood Village, Colo., last week won court approval to file a plan to exit bankruptcy that would allow the proposed asset sale to Time Warner and Comcast Corp. before a July 31 deadline.
Shares of Time Warner, down 10 percent last year, rose 26 cents to $16.88 yesterday. The stock is down 3.2 percent this year.
The cable-TV unit, Time Warner's fastest-growing business for two straight years, is adding subscribers with packages of services, Parsons said at a separate panel yesterday. He said phone operators aren't ready to compete in the video market.http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/...ness/66778.htm