Time Warner can finally start whittling down its $11.2 billion debt. On Aug. 6, it completed a modified offering to raise $2.76 billion. The company's investment banks snapped up rights to buy 42% of the shares sold. As a result, 98% of Time Warner's shareholders participated, either by buying shares or by selling their buying rights to the syndicate of banks led by Salomon Brothers.

Time Warner sold about 34.5 million new shares at $80 each. The offering replaced an earlier proposal that Time Warner scrapped after protests by angry shareholders and the Securities & Exchange Commission.

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