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Viacom exchange offer for Blockbuster split-off oversubscribed

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MUMBAI: Viacom Inc. announced that, based on preliminary results, its exchange offer for the split-off of Blockbuster Inc. was oversubscribed.



The final results to be announced on or before 13 October.



The successful offer to Viacom stockholders for the exchange, on a tax-free basis, of some or all of their Viacom shares for shares of Blockbuster common stock held by Viacom expired at 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on October 5, 2004.



Based on a preliminary count by the exchange agent, The Bank of New York, 294,926,641 shares of Viacom common stock, consisting of 4,648,793 shares of Viacom class A common stock and 290,277,848 shares of Viacom class B common stock, were tendered for exchange. Of these shares, 150,315,329 shares of Viacom common stock, consisting of 1,287,577 shares of Viacom class A common stock and 149,027,752 shares of Viacom class B common stock, were tendered by notice of guaranteed delivery, says a company release.



Viacom will accept for exchange 27,961,165 shares of Viacom common stock in exchange for the 72 million shares of Blockbuster class A common stock and 72 million shares of Blockbuster class B common stock Viacom owns. Because the exchange offer is oversubscribed, Viacom will accept only a portion of the number of shares of each class of Viacom common stock that were tendered, on a pro-rata basis in proportion to the number of shares tendered, says the release.



Based on the preliminary results, and assuming all shares tendered by notice of guaranteed delivery are delivered under the terms of the exchange offer, Viacom will accept approximately 9.5 per cent of the tendered shares of each class of Viacom common stock. Viacom expects to announce the final results of the exchange offer, including the final proration factor, on or before Wednesday, 13 October 2004.



Stockholders that have tendered less than 100 shares, or an odd-lot, will not be subject to proration, except that stockholders that have tendered odd-lots as a participant in a Viacom or Blockbuster employee benefit plan are not entitled to this preference.



Viacom commenced the exchange offer on 8 September 2004 and offered to exchange 5.15 shares of Blockbuster stock, consisting of 2.575 shares of Blockbuster Class A common stock and 2.575 shares of Blockbuster Class B common stock, for each share of Viacom common stock validly tendered and not properly withdrawn, up to an aggregate of 27,961,165 shares of Viacom class A or class B common stock.



Shares of Blockbuster common stock will be credited to accounts of tendering stockholders by the exchange agent promptly after the final results of the exchange offer are announced. In addition, checks in lieu of fractional Blockbuster shares and shares of Viacom class A and class B common stock tendered but not accepted for exchange are expected to be delivered or mailed on or before 22 October 22, 2004, adds the release.

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