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  • ITT CONTINUES PLANS TO EXPAND INTO ENTERTAINMENT VENTURES

         Over the last week, ITT sold part of its financial services
    group to facilitate a move into the entertainment and gaming
    field.  First, ITT sold Commerical Finance -- a division of its
    Financial Corp that makes business loans -- for a reported $2.3B
    to Deutsch Bank's North American unit.  The next day, ITT made
    its second billion dollar deal when it sold its Island Finance
    consumer loan unit for $1.4B to Norwest Corp.  A third deal could
    raise an additional $1.8B (Eric Randall, USA TODAY, 12/28).  News
    of the moves by ITT raised stock shares by 4 3/8 to 88 1/8.  ITT
    said it hopes to use the revenue from the sales to "help pay off
    its $3.4B in debt" from their recent deals for Madison Square
    Garden and Caesars World (N.Y. POST, 12/28).
    

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  • OUTBACK/SHANNON GROUP MAKES FIRST OFFER FOR BUCS

         One day after saying the trust could wait a year before
    selling the Bucs, the team received its first verbal offer.  A
    group led by former University of Florida QB Tommy Shannon, which
    includes Outback Steakhouse execs Bob Basham and Chris Sullivan,
    made a "confidential" offer to keep the team in Tampa.  The group
    will confirm its offer in writing and said the proposal will be
    valid until January 9.  Bucs Trustee Steve Story called the offer
    "worthy of careful consideration.  Clearly we are happy to see a
    local group come forward with a meaningful offer" (Charean
    Williams, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/28).  Story had reported that if
    the trust did not receive the "right price" for the team, they
    would "retain" the franchise for next year (Jon Morgan, Baltimore
    SUN, 12/27).  Representatives for Orioles Owner Peter Angelos met
    with the Bucs trust last week, and Story expects an offer from
    Angelos at some point in the coming weeks (Jon Morgan, Baltimore
    SUN, 12/28).  Angelos said he was "trying to turn a new page in
    the strained relationship" between Baltimore and NFL Commissioner
    Paul Tagliabue.  Among other bidders, Florida investor Malcom
    Glazer said he may submit a bid next week (Jon Morgan, Baltimore
    SUN, 12/29).  Morgan also reported on the "web of litigation"
    that could hinder Angelos' effort.  It would be costly for
    Angelos to test the league in a lawsuit, and "the process could
    involve years of messy litigation during which the fitness of the
    league, Angelos, Tampa, and Baltimore would be on trial"
    (Baltimore SUN, 12/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Franchises, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • PANTHERS' COACHING CAPER DRAWS TAGLIABUE'S INTEREST

         In the wake of Dom Capers' agreement to become the Panthers'
    first head coach, team officials will meet today in New York with
    NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to address allegations that they
    breached league anti-tampering policies in their "courtship" of
    the Steelers Defensive Coordinator.  The team interviewed Capers
    for the job last Tuesday, but the interview took place without
    the permission or prior knowledge of Steelers President Dan
    Rooney.  Panthers GM Bill Polian had gained permission from
    Steelers coach Bill Cowher.  NFL Dir of Communications Greg
    Aiello confirmed the Panthers could be fined a minimum of
    $100,000 and/or forced to forfeit draft choices if Tagliabue
    rules that the team violated league rules.  "Privately, Panthers
    officials concede that they thumbed their noses at the rules
    because they felt they could get away with the illegal contact"
    (Len Pasquarelli, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • RAMS BUTT HEADS WITH ST. LOUIS OVER FINAL POINTS

         Rams President John Shaw said last week that negotiations
    with the city of St. Louis have reached a point "where somebody
    is going to have to give."  Shaw dismissed reports that a deal
    with St. Louis was imminent, and said there was no guarantee a
    deal would be reached.  He mentioned 16 major differences have
    been narrowed down to three, but that the two parties are "still
    negotiating."  Shaw:  "There are still three large issues
    unresolved ... We are also talking to other people about minority
    ownership."  The issues yet to be finalized include guarantees on
    permanent-seat license sales, guarantees on club seats and
    luxury-box sales, and the location of the proposed practice
    facility.  Shaw mentioned that MO-based businessman Stan Kroenke
    "remains the Rams' first preference for minority ownership," but
    that there have been no recent discussions.  The permanent-seat
    licensing program is "critical to the deal" because St. Louis
    hopes to raise at least $60M through it to cover the cost of the
    move.  Any team wishing to move for '95 must notify the league at
    least 30 days before the owners' meetings in March (T.J. Simers,
    L.A. TIMES, 12/30).
         RICH RAMS?  An analysis of the negotiations between St.
    Louis and the Rams shows that a move to St. Louis would move the
    Rams "from the NFL's poorhouse to its financial elite."
    According to projections by the L.A. TIMES, the team would make
    an estimated $20.7M in pretax profit during its first full season
    in St. Louis -- highest in the NFL.  A combination of gate
    receipts, stadium and TV revenue, and licensing/merchandise
    revenue would add up to $82.7M, putting the Rams at 2nd in the
    NFL in total revenue behind the Cowboys (Mike DiGiovanna, L.A.
    TIMES, 12/24).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Franchises, NFL, St. Louis Rams
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