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HERALD NOTES QUESTIONS SURROUNDING PANTHERS STOCK PURCHASE
Published January 31, 1997
Stock purchases made late last fall by four directors of Florida Panthers Holdings have attracted the attention of other investors, according to Cindy Krischer Goodman of the MIAMI HERALD. Recently filed records reveal the execs bought $2.87M of the company's stock "just before" the announcement of a "key" acquisition drove up the stock. The directors purchased 285,000 shares for $10.06/share from November 13-December 16, six days before the Panthers acquired two Fort Lauderdale resort hotels. The shares are currently trading for $32. Among the directors: Republic Industries Vice Chair Harris Hudson and President Steven Berrard; Huizenga Holdings President Richard Rochon; and Huizenga's Extended Stay America CEO George Johnson. Huizenga spokesperson Stan Smith said there were no "insider purchases" of Panthers stock, adding the investors "have a lot of confidence in the company and the management." But, some early investors are "miffed," and have filed suit in federal court in Ft. Lauderdale on behalf of those who sold their shares between the period in which the execs made their purchases. They charge Huizenga and other officers with securities violations and misrepresentation of the company's short-term prospects (MIAMI HERALD, 1/30).