SBD/30/Franchises

LABATT FIGHTING TAKEOVER BID: JAYS & TSN FUTURE UNCERTAIN

      John Labatt Ltd. has "formally rejected" a C$2.3B takeover
bid from Onex Corp., according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Labatt is searching for a "white night" willing to pay more for
the company (De Santis & Greenberg, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/30).
Onex VP Anthony Melman:  "If Labatt management truly wants a
higher bid, they should be looking everywhere, including (Onex)
since we are the only company that has put money on the table"
(Paul Brent, FINANCIAL POST, 5/30).  Labatt President George
Taylor is said to be "courting" other brewers, broadcasters and
financial firms as suitors, writes Marina Strauss in the Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL.  If a broadcasting acquisition takes place, it
would "likely entail" finding partners with each buying a piece
of Labatt's properties, which include The Sports Network and the
Discovery Channel (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/30).  It is
"increasingly likely" the Blue Jays will be sold as Labatt fights
off Onex (Jim Proudfoot, TORONTO STAR, 5/30).
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