SBD/8/Franchises

JOHN LABATT LTD. STILL LOOKING FOR A PARTNER IN SPORTS

     John Labatt Ltd. may seek a partnership or joint venture in
its bid to "spin off part of its sports and entertainment
assets," according to company President George Taylor.  Labatt
"is mulling over a number of options in its selloff strategy and
not only a public offering, as has been widely reported."
Labatt's sports and entertainment assets include the Blue Jays,
the SkyDome and TSN.  Taylor said the company still intends "to
control and drive the development of these businesses -- whether
its 49% or 45 or 40, (that is sold off) doesn't much matter."
Taylor acknowledged that the baseball strike, "which soaked up
about" C$16M of Labatt's earnings, has delayed selloff plans.
And the "sinking stock markets probably aren't as receptive to an
issue as they were last June."  Labatt has been hit by the NHL
lockout as well, but to a much lesser extent (Marina Strauss,
Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/8).
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