SBD/10/Franchises

MAGIC, BUSS SAID TO BE INTERESTED IN BUYING KINGS

     Saturday's L.A. TIMES reported that Lakers and Great Western
Forum Owner Jerry Buss "is escalating his effort to purchase" the
L.A. Kings and that Magic Johnson is part of the investment
group.  Lisa Dillman and Scott Howard-Cooper report that Buss,
who owned the club before selling to Bruce McNall in '88, "has
been linked to an investment group" that includes Hollywood Park
Chair R.D. Hubbard and Vice Chair Harry Ornest.  While Johnson's
agent, Lon Rosen, had no comment, Rosen reportedly approached
Buss six months ago and told him of Johnson's interest in a
possible Kings purchase. "Several sources" say Buss has an
"excellent chance" of buying the Kings because of their long-term
lease at the Forum.  Buss is said "to be asking anywhere from"
$30M-$40M to be bought out of that lease.  While the NHL's Board
of Governors agreed in principle last month to approve "a
proposed interim financing" of $10.5M to CO Billionaire Phillip
Anschutz and Developer Edward Roski, Dillman & Howard-Cooper
report "the expected cash infusion has not transpired."  The team
owes $1.9M in unpaid payroll taxes and will owe $2M to Wayne
Gretzky at the end of July, with the team's total debt said to be
$100M (L.A. TIMES, 7/8).
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