SBD/21/Franchises

PENS OWNER BALDWIN INTERESTED IN PIRATES AGAIN

      Robert Caporale, an attorney for Penguins owner Howard
Baldwin, met with the Pirates' investment bank Thursday,
representing Baldwin as one of four prospective buyers of the
club.  The other three groups, who also met with Wertheim
Schroder were not identified.  Caporale said the talks were
"general in nature," and did not deal with team finances.  Last
year, the Pirates owners rejected a $83M bid for the team from
Baldwin, citing a belief that he did not have enough cash to own
and operate the team.  Jeff Moffie, a Cleveland investment
manager who last week withdrew a reportedly $90M offer for the
team, was not invited to the meetings.  Wertheim Schroder CEO
James Harmon says the $85.15M bid from Adelphia Communications
Chair John Rigas "remained very much alive."  Harmon added that
even if Rigas fails to buy the team, he believes the Pirates will
stay in Pittsburgh:  "That might change, but I think (the chance
of the team moving) has been exaggerated by the media" (Steve
Halvonik, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 2/17).  Steelers President Dan
Rooney said his family would consider buying the Pirates again if
it meant "only as a last resort" to keep them from moving
(AP/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 2/19).
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