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  • ECCLESTONE SET FOR FORMULA ONE IPO NEXT YEAR

              Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that $2.5B
         flotation of Formula One Holdings (F1) "could happen as
         early as next year," according to Patrick Harverson of the
         FINANCIAL TIMES.  A "dispute" between Ecclestone and the 11
         teams competing in F1 delayed the summer sale and had "led
         to speculation that Mr. Ecclestone would abandon the
         flotation."  Ecclestone: "It's not a case of if, it's a case
         of when."  Ecclestone added that "ideally he wanted the
         flotation to go ahead in early 1998, before the start of the
         next F1 season."  Harverson reports that Ecclestone wants
         Salomon Brothers to "cut the time he would spend on a
         roadshow selling the issue to investors."  As for a possible
         private sale, Ecclestone said that he had been approached by
         "one big company keen on buying a controlling stake in his
         business, but he was not interested."  While he would not
         reveal the company, Harverson wrote that BSkyB "had shown an
         interest" in investing in F1 (FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/29).
    
    

    Print | Tags: BSkyB, Finance, Formula One, Washington Nationals
  • GART BECOMES SPORTING GOODS POWER PLAYER WITH SPORTMART DEAL

              As reported in yesterday's DAILY, CO-based Gart Sports
         Co. acquired IL-based Sportmart to form the second-largest
         sporting goods retailer in the U.S.  Terms of the deal were
         not released, but Gart, which is controlled by the L.A.
         banking firm Leonard Green & Partners, will issue stock to
         Sportmart holders "representing" a 27.5% stake in the new
         company.  The combined company, which will be "about" 60%
         controlled by Green, will look to be traded publicly on the
         NASDAQ.  Yesterday, Sportmart shares on the NASDAQ dropped
         $1.1875, or 25%, to $3.5625 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/30).
              REAX: In Denver, Penny Parker writes that Sportmart had
         seen "a dramatic downward slide" in its stock price from
         $10.063 in June '95 to its current state.  Paine Webber
         analyst Aram Rubinson: "It helps bail Sportmart out of their
         own issues, but they're taking a price below the original
         market value.  It doesn't change the fact that there are too
         many stores out there" (DENVER POST, 9/30).  For FY '97,
         Gart reported a net income of $4.5M.  Gart CEO Doug Morton,
         who will retain his title in the new company: "We built a
         lot of value in Gart.  We're not in debt; we're profitable,
         that's unique in the industry."  Sportmart and Gart stores
         will keep their own names and Denver will be the new
         corporate headquarters.  Sportmart Chair Larry Hochberg, and
         his son, Sportmart CEO Andrew, will be elected to Gart's
         Board of Directors (Dina Bunn, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 9/30).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: Finance
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