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LABATT BLUE ON $13M BASEBALL LOSS; POSSIBLE TSN MOVE?
Published December 9, 1994
John Labatt, Ltd. announced yesterday that it took a $13M loss on its second quarter earnings because of the baseball strike. Labatt is looking to "spin off" up to 49% of its sports and entertainment assets. Labatt President George Taylor said in a conference call that the company is exploring "several -- both Canadian and international -- possibilities for making a deal with a partner." There was discussion earlier of a public offering, but Taylor said a "relationship with a strategic partner is a stronger possibility" (Bertrand Marotte, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 12/9). Labatt owns The Sports Network, Canada's national cable channel, 80% of the Discovery Channel, 90% of the Blue Jays, and 41% of the SkyDome. The "lure" for prospective buyers are the TV licenses the company has, and Taylor admitted the TV properties have "attracted outside interest." Taylor announced that, surprisingly, the NHL lockout and baseball strike have not hurt earnings at TSN and they were "extremely successful in minimizing losses in advertising commitments" (Art Chamberlain, TORONTO STAR, 12/9).