Hughes' Smith trying to cut his own deal

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Looking to thwart News Corp.'s bid to take a controlling stake in his company, Hughes Electronics Chairman Michael Smith is soliciting investors to take a large stake in the company and then spin it off, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Those preliminary talks are the latest indication that News Corp.'s initial proposal won't work, due to strong opposition from Mr. Smith, other Hughes executives and many company shareholders. Smith is apparently seeking an alternative deal that would leave him in control, while giving Hughes parent General Motors Corp. the cash it seeks for selling its stake.

The Journal cites sources familiar with the situation who say companies approached by Hughes representatives with the idea include General Electric Co.'s NBC television network, SBC Communications Inc. and Microsoft Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

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