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SMITH BARNEY TO PUT TOGETHER BID FOR LABATT DEAL
Published May 4, 1995
Smith Barney officials confirmed that the firm is working to assemble a deal in which Quilmes International SA would acquire John Labatt Ltd. Labatt is owner of the Blue Jays, SkyDome, TSN, and the CFL Argonaunts. Quilmes is a Luxembourg-based brewer operating in South America. The deal would also involve Canada's Onex Corp. The announcement confirms the fact that Onex, a leveraged buyout specialist, is "actively pursuing the purchase of Labatt, although the stock market seems to think the likelihood of a takeover is fading." The stock has dropped almost C$2 since a 52-week high two weeks ago after news of Onex's interest in Labatt was reported. Frederique Carrier, an analyst with Latinvest Securities Ltd. in London, said Quilmes has been interested in expanding into Mexico, and Labatt's Femsa Cerveza brewery would fit into Quilmes' "growth strategy" (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/4).