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MORE ANALYSIS ON TAKEOVER SPECULATION OF LABATT
Published March 22, 1995
"After what's happened" lately to John Labatt Ltd., "the possibility of a takeover has diminished or, at the very least, the price tag has come down," writes Peter Hadekel of the Montreal GAZETTE. The company reported this month that it took a 3rdQ writedown of C$272M on the asset value of its investment in a Mexican brewery because of the peso's collapse. Another C$110M could be written off in the current quarter if the peso does not recover. Michael Palmer, an analyst with Equity Research Associations: "The takeover rumors are still out there." But the company's main strategy remains a plan to sell off non-core holdings, including the Blue Jays, SkyDome and sports cable network, TSN. There has been speculation that Labatt would like to sell a stake in TSN to ESPN, which is 80% owned by Cap Cities/ABC. But Levesque Beaubien Geoffrion analyst Jacques Kavafian said there is "zero" interest in these properties and that TSN has "peaked in terms of its earnings power and growth potential." The Jays' value is uncertain while the sport is on strike (Montreal GAZETTE, 3/22).