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ARE THE CELTICS LOOKING TO GO PRIVATE THROUGH A BUYBACK?
Published May 10, 1995
The Celtics may be exploring a buy-back of publicly held units in the Boston Celtics Limited Partnership in a bid to take the company private again, according to Joan Vennochi in this morning's BOSTON GLOBE. The "goal would be to make even more millions for the team owners as well as protect them from the scrutiny that goes along with public filings." As reported in a FINANCIAL WORLD piece, the reason to suspect such a move is the possibility that the Celtics could lose their master limited parntership (MLP) tax advantage at the end of '97 due to changes in the law. At that point, the general partners would have to pay taxes on earnings at the corporate rate of 35%. However, there is a proposal before Congress to preserve the MLPs' favored tax status, which probably would cause the stock to go up. Vennochi: "In other words, there is now an ideal window of opporutnity to buy the stock as cheaply as possible and then lock in more of the Celtics profits, which wouldn't have to be distributed to shareholders." Celtics CFO Joseph DiLorenzo said the team "really hasn't talked about" a buyback, but added that, generally, "it makes "100% sense to do it when the stock is undervalued" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/10).