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CATS OUT OF THE BAG: HUIZENGA STOCK STRATEGY MAKES WAVES

          After Panthers Owner Wayne Huizenga took his team
     public in November '96, his "first move" was the acquisition
     of two resort hotels owned partly by Huizenga and other team
     officials, "a move that enriched Huizenga, his friends and
     others who have invested with him," according to Edward
     Wyatt of the N.Y. TIMES.  The floatation "has all worked out
     grandly for Huizenga, whose original investment in Florida
     Panthers Holdings has nearly tripled in value" to $150M. 
     Initial investors "have done well, but many of those who
     bought subsequently have, at best, broken even," and some
     "profitable investors who got in early have expressed
     outrage, believing that Huizenga and his friends profited
     improperly.  Three class-action lawsuits seeking damages
     have been filed by shareholders" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/25). 
          WAYNE'S WORLD: Wyatt reports that the initial resort
     deals, "unrelated to the hockey club, sent the price of
     Panther stock soaring.  But despite the sharp increase, the
     company did not adjust the number of shares it had offered
     to exchange for the resorts before the deal closed."  By
     "ignoring a common practice when acquisitions are paid for
     with shares of stock, the company ended up paying" $225M for
     the two resorts, three times the original price.  Wyatt adds
     that despite the teams' losses, the market value of FL
     Panthers Holdings "has increased sixfold" since the company
     went public.  Profits from the hockey and arena-management
     operations, which now account for only about 10% of the
     company, "will be a blip on the company's financial screen." 
     Wyatt: "For Huizenga, little about Florida Panthers Holdings
     has to do with hockey" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/25).

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