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LABATTS LOSING OUT ON BASEBALL AND HOCKEY

     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).
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