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This Day In Market History: Capital Cities Buys ABC

This Day In Market History: Capital Cities Buys ABC

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened? On this day in 1985, Capital Cities Communications bought American Broadcast Companies (ABC) for $3.5 billion.

Where The Market Was: The Dow finished the day at 1271.09. The S&P 500 finished at 179.54.

What Else Was Going On In The World? In 1985, TWA Flight 847 was hijacked by Hezbollah, and Nintendo Co., Ltd (ADR) (OTC: NTDOY) released the Nintendo Entertainment System in the U.S. The average price of a new car was $9,005.

Major Media Merger: Exactly 33 years before the start of the antitrust trial against AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX), one of the largest media mergers of all time was announced when Capital Cities Communications agreed to take over ABC.

Warren Buffett was even involved in financing the blockbuster deal in exchange for 25% ownership of the combined company.

Capital Cities first went public back in 1957 with a market cap of just $299,000. Eleven years after the merger with ABC, the company was purchased by Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) for $19 billion. Over nearly a 40-year stretch following its IPO, Capital Cities delivered an incredible compound annual growth rate of 32.7%.

Today, Capital Cities has been rebranded as Disney-ABC Television Group. The company remains a subsidiary of Disney and operates all of the company’s Disney and ABC-branded television businesses.


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