Marvin Davis Reduces Stake in Spelling : Investor Takes Loss of Up to 35%, Plans to Sell More Shares

Times Staff Writer

Investor Marvin Davis disclosed Tuesday that he abruptly sold a chunk of his stock in the television production firm Aaron Spelling Productions, taking a loss of up to about 35% on his investment. He and several affiliates said they now intend to sell additional Spelling shares.

Davis, who bought the Beverly Hills Hotel last December and formerly owned 20th Century Fox Film Corp., reported selling 192,600 of his 582,500 shares. The sale reduced his personal holdings to 4.86% from 6.9%.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, his group now owns 919,750 shares, or 8.61%, of the Los Angeles firm's Class A common stock.

Aaron Spelling Productions, which created such ABC network series as "Dynasty" and "Love Boat," has seen its stock ebb this year to about $9 recently from about $12 a share.

It dropped another 37.5 cents Tuesday to close at $8.75 on the American Stock Exchange. Its initial public offering was sold in June, 1986, at $14 a share and later rose before dropping sharply at the end of the year.

Davis, a close friend of controlling shareholder Aaron Spelling, was one of the original buyers of the public issue at $14.

Investment Decision

Davis received prices of $9.50 down to $9.125 for the bulk of the shares sold, Tuesday's filing disclosed. All but 5,000 shares were sold the first two weeks of this month for $1,742,900, including 153,000 shares sold Monday, according to figures in the document.

The sales came in a period when the stock market in general has sustained some heavy losses. A spokesman for Davis described the selloff as purely an investment decision.

The Davis group includes his two sons, Gregg and John, each of whom own 1.68% of the Spelling shares. The filing showed that additional members of the group are business associates Gerald Gray, Burton I. Monasch and M/J Co. The latter firm is a Colorado general partnership of Myron M. and James H. Miller. However, the associates hold a total of but 0.572% of Spelling Class A common.

The group said it will dispose of additional shares "in an orderly manner and as market conditions permit." It said it reserved the right to reconsider its plans, "depending upon circumstances then existing, many of which are beyond the control of the group."

Another major investor in the firm's shares has been financier Carl H. Lindner. He and Cincinnati-based American Financial Corp., of which he is chairman, owned 10.2% of the Class A shares at last report.

When Spelling sold stock to the public, he assured himself solid control of 68.7% of the voting shares by retaining ownership of all of the firm's Class B stock.

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