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GART SPORTS CO. SET TO ACQUIRE SPORTMART INC.

          CO-based Gart Sports Co. will announce today that it
     will acquire "the much larger" IL-based Sportmart Inc.,
     creating the nation's second-largest chain of sporting goods
     stores, according to John Rebchook of the ROCKY MOUNTAIN
     NEWS.  The two companies will make up 120 stores in 13
     states, and Gart's annual revenues "will more than triple to
     almost" $700M, a source close the transaction said.  While
     only FL-based Sports Authority Inc., with "almost" $1.3B in
     revenues in fiscal '97, will be larger, industry experts say
     the newly-formed Gart Sports Co. "may be the most profitable
     sporting goods chain the nation."  As part of the deal,
     Sportmart will relocate its corporate headquarters to Denver
     and Rebchook adds that Gart CEO Doug Morton "is expected" to
     head the new company (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 9/29).

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