SBD/4/Franchises

THE MAPLE LEAF GARDENS SOAP OPERA CONTINUES

     In a pre-trial hearing concerning the takeover of Maple Leaf
Gardens after the death of Leafs Owner Howard Ballard, executor
and current Maple Leafs CEO Steve Stavro admitted that he
"initiated a pact" with two others to work together for a
takeover.  However, executors say Stavro did not have any intent
to take control before Ballard died, and refute allegations by
the Ontario Attorney General that Stavro was working in his own
interests and not those of the estate.  (Tony Van Alphen, TORONTO
STAR, 10/4).  Meanwhile, the Ontario Attorney General's office
continues in efforts to obtain an internal report obtained by a
partner of Stavro's which led to a lowering of the purchase price
of MLG from Ballard's estate.  The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
Board, which partnered with Stavro in the purchase of MLG, is
accused by the court of receiving an internal report showing
"booming prospects for broadcasting revenues."  Appraisers of the
company did not have access to that report.  The Ontario Attorney
General, along with the province's public trustee, want Ballard's
former 60.3% share in MLG returned to the estate and then resold
at a public auction because of the alleged improprieties (TORONTO
STAR, 10/4).
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