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FORBES' Peter Spiegel examines consolidation in the sports marketing business and writes that "small two- or three-lawyer shops" are an "endangered species." Spiegel: "Pushing the consolidations is the increasing role of corporate sponsorship. ... The big sports agencies offer their services to corporate clients looking to get themselves noticed by sports fans" (FORBES, 3/9 issue). NOTES: NSSN's Steve Mayer goes inside CART's planned IPO and reports "top" execs have been "granted substantial stock options." Among them: CART CEO Andrew Craig (600,000 shares), CFO Randy Dzierzawksi (300,000 shares), VP/ Logistics Dennis Swan (20,000) and VP/Competition Kirk Russell (40,000). At an offering of $15 a share, Craig has the option to purchase $9M of CART shares (NSSN, 2/25). ...TCI's TCI Gameco Holdings unit sold its 4.3 million-share stake in Acclaim Entertainment (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/27).
ME-based American Skiing Co. announced that total revenues for the second quarter, ended January 25, increased to $115.3M from $61.2M for the comparable period last year. Net income for the second quarter of '97 was $6.6M, versus $.4M for the prior year. Resort revenue, which excludes revenues from real estate properties, increased to $107.4M from $59.4M in the second quarter of '96. America Skiing Co.'s total skier visits increased by 10.9% (ASC). MORE ON LES: In Boston, Stephen Jermanok profiled American Skiing Chair & CEO Les Otten: "The jury is still out on whether Otten has improved the American ski experience ... but even the purists admire what he has done to keep the sport alive. ... No one in the ski industry will be surprised if ASC continues to gobble up more ski resorts around the country. As its stock filing states: 'The Company intends to consider acquisitions of large, well- established destination resorts'" (BOSTON MAGAZINE, 2/98).
CA-based Lynx Golf has "obtained a $3.55 million bridge loan" from Union Planters Bank of St. Louis, according to the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The loan was "secured" by the company's assets and is due to be repaid by August 15. Lynx President & CEO David Schaefer said that the financing will allow the company to "carry out its strategic plan and implement operational changes" (UNION- TRIBUNE, 2/25). VISUALIZE IT: Visual Edge Systems, (VES), producers of the "One-on-One With Greg Norman" video golf lessons, has reached agreement in principle with its lenders and preferred stock holders, who have agreed not to convert their preferred stock or notes until December 31, 1998. VES's lenders and stock holders have also agreed to provide the company with an additional $5M equity line of credit for working capital. In other news, VES announced that it will team with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to help raise funds for cancer research. VES will set up temporary production facilities in the lobbies of office buildings in cities such as New York, Boston and San Francisco, among others, and will offer its Norman golf lessons at $50 per tape, with a portion of the proceeds going to ACS (VES).