Warner Plans $500-Million Stock Offering

Times Staff Writer

Warner Communications, which has rebounded from its Atari losses of 1983 and 1984, on Wednesday proposed raising about $500 million through a stock offering that might be used for new ventures. At the same time, the company acknowledged that the offering would dilute its largest shareholder's stake.

Until this month, Chris-Craft Industries held 29.1% of Warner's voting shares, primarily in the form of preferred stock. Last week, however, Warner's 2-for-1 common stock split had the effect of reducing Chris-Craft's vote to 19.5%.

Warner's proposal to issue 10 million shares of a new series of convertible exchangeable preferred stock would reduce Chris-Craft's voting stake to 17.4% unless Chris-Craft converts its preferred shares to common. If that occurs, Chris-Craft will end up with 21.6%, according to the Warner filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chris-Craft Chairman Herbert J. Siegel, contacted by telephone, said he couldn't comment on a stock offering during its registration period at the SEC.

Warner Vice President Geoffrey W. Holmes declined to elaborate on Warner's statement that it would use the proceeds "for general corporate purposes, including possible business investments."

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