Turner holds merger talks

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The Independent Online
NEW YORK - Two small but well- known Hollywood studios, New Line Cinema and Castle Rock Entertainment, confirmed yesterday that they were in talks with Turner Broadcasting about an alliance and possible merger, writes Larry Black.

Turner, headed by the cable television entrepreneur Ted Turner, refused to comment on the negotiations, and one of Turner's largest shareholders, Time Warner, is believed to oppose the deal. But Mr Turner - who has considered breaking up the company as a means to buy out Time and the other principal owner, Tele-Communications - is said to be pursuing the mergers to force the issue of control.

Both Castle Rock, 45 per cent owned by Sony, and New Line, Hollywood's only successful independent, need more financial resources.