SBD/7/Franchises

WOULD-BE BLUE JAYS INVESTOR PUTS CHANCES FOR TEAM AT 50-50

          Canadian real estate exec Jack Singer, who stands to
     become the largest shareholder of the Blue Jays, feels that
     he and his partners have only "a 50-50 chance -- at best" of
     being approved by MLB, according to Marty York of the
     Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  Singer, who would invest about C$70M
     in the Murray Frum-led group, said he's heard the "official
     word on this one way or the other" may come "right after the
     World Series. ... We've been trying to put the deal together
     for more than a year, and I find it a little surprising that
     it has taken this long.  Something just doesn't feel
     completely right."  Meanwhile, York writes that its "quite
     possible" MLB "has been checking on Michael Shapiro," the CA
     businessman "who has been most responsible for putting the
     consortium together."  York notes speculation that MLB execs
     "are reacting negatively to Shapiro's involvement" because
     he once sued MLB when a deal he had put together for Singer
     to buy the Royals fell through (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/7).

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