SBD/15/Franchises

CANADIENS LOSSES CONTRIBUTE TO MOLSON'S POOR SHOWING

     Molson Cos. Ltd. "plans to get out of retailing and focus on
beer and cleaning, with a bit of hockey on the side."  Meeting
with financial analysts in New York, Molson President Marshall
Cohen said the company's growth will focus on Diversey, its U.S.
cleaning and chemical specialty business, even though the
division has posted consistent losses.  Cohen also said earnings
this year would be lower due to the NHL lockout.  According to
company spokesperson Barry Joslin, Molson, which owns the
Canadiens and the Montreal Forum and sponsors "Hockey Night in
Canada," will lose $11M in operating profit if the season doesn't
start by January 1, and $22M if the entire season is canceled
(Art Chamberlain, TORONTO STAR, 11/15).  Molson spokesperson Bill
Chambers:  "We still hope that a truncated season will be played.
But not blindly.  We have a responsibility to our shareholders."
A company statement calls the Canadiens a "legacy asset" worth
keeping, despite the losses from the labor dispute (Francois
Shalom, MONTREAL GAZETTE, 11/15).
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