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LABATTS LOSING OUT ON BASEBALL AND HOCKEY
Published November 30, 1994
The baseball strike and the work stoppage in the NHL has thrown a "curve into John Labatt Ltd.'s plan to spin off its sports and entertainment holding, worth more than $1B." Analysts said that the Toronto beer manufacturer faces uncertainty over the value of its sports properties, which include interests in the Blue Jays, The Sports Network (TSN) cable channel, and SkyDome. Analyst Michael Palmer of Equity Research Associates in Toronto: "Labatt's whole empire or structure, has been thrown into disarray by the labor disruptions." Labatt is also saddled by the C$720M investment purchase into a Mexican brewery that "loaded Labatt with debt and raised doubts" among shareholders about the corporate strategy. Labatt had hoped to reduce its stake in some holdings and offer 49% of assets in a public offering, but company spokesperson Lorne Stephenson said the baseball strike has made "spinoff plans a little more difficult" (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/30).