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P.M. BRIEFING : Harcourt, in the Red, Is for Sale

From Times Wire Services

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., the publishing firm that put itself heavily into debt in 1987 to thwart a hostile takeover offer, has placed itself on the block, it was reported today.

Harcourt, which has sold assets in recent years to ease its debt burden, has widened the scope of its mission and is seeking buyers for the entire company, the Wall Street Journal said.

“We couldn’t handle the refinancing, and the pressure is on us to pay the interest,” company director Eugene McCarthy told the newspaper.

The company’s stock rose 12.5 cents to $1.25 in mid-morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Potential investors include K-III Holdings, a partnership controlled by the buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. of New York, and Paramount Communications Inc., the newspaper said.


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