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  • FINANCE NOTES

              Paul Allen, who bought 95% of Marcus Cable for $2.78B,
         said he paid $2,800 per subscriber.  Allen: "It's a great
         time to come in and find a partner and add some of my ideas
         to what is in the marketplace.  I will finally have some
         wires for my wired world" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/7).
         ...Champion Products "has begun slashing 40 jobs at its
         Winston-Salem [NC] headquarters."  Nancy Young, spokesperson
         for Champion's parent company Sara Lee, said the cutbacks
         will be completed "in the next few weeks."  Champion
         President & CEO Mike Flatow called the cuts "part of a
         realignment to make operations more efficient" (Raleigh NEWS
         & OBSERVER, 4/4)....Golden Bear Club Services entered into a
         golf and club management licensing agreement with Executive
         Sports Int'l (ESI), granting ESI the right to conduct
         business under that brand name (Golden Bear)....Rawlings
         Sporting Goods Co.'s profits "rose almost" 12% in the 2Q. 
         Revenues were up 17% for the quarter, which ended February
         28.  Howard Keene, Rawlings' interim CEO said that revenue
         "rose in all categories but licensing" (POST-DISPATCH, 4/2).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Finance, R J Reynolds, Sara Lee
  • OAKLEY GETTING KICKS BY FLEXING ITS MARKETING MUSCLES

              Oakley Inc.'s "undiminished aggressiveness has already
         made it one of the budding turnaround stories of 1998,"
         according to James Sterngold of the N.Y. TIMES.  The
         company's sunglasses, which received "much free publicity at
         the Winter Olympics" are "staging a comeback."  Oakley is
         also introducing "an array of technologically innovative
         models" -- including the Racing Jacket, Mars and Minute
         lines.  Despite high prices -- a pair in the Mars line can
         run up to $265 -- the "early signs are good," and Oakley
         said there are already indications of strong sales in the
         Racing Jacket and Mars lines.  In two months, Oakley will
         launch a sports shoe, and if it succeeds in taking "even a
         couple of points of market share from Nike," Sterngold wrote
         that it would be "icing on the cake for a company that was
         long regarded as better at technological pizazz than at
         marketing muscle."  Francis Gannon, a Portfolio Manager at
         Sun America Asset, which owns about 250,000 shares of Oakley
         stock: "Very few people have seen the shoe.  But given
         [Oakley's] record, the shoe is the kicker to the story.  The
         new products in their core sunglasses business will carry
         them, and the shoe, if it does O.K., could really propel
         them."  BT Alex. Brown analyst Marcia Aaron said Oakley has
         "upgraded management and they've gone from being a hard-core
         sports company to more, I hate to use the 'F' word, of a
         fashion company."  Aaron said that she expects Oakley stock
         to reach $15 per share within six months (N.Y. TIMES, 4/5).
              O' CANADA: Oakley has acquired its Canadian
         distributor's Oakley division and will rename it Oakley
         Canada Inc.  Financial terms were not disclosed (Oakley). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Finance, Nike, Oakley
  • THE EAGLE HAS LANDED AT FAMILY GOLF CENTERS

              N.Y.-based Family Golf Centers has agreed to acquire
         Eagle Qwest Golf Center Inc, the nation's second-largest
         owner, operator and manager of driving ranges for shares
         worth "about" $46.1M, according to Alan Wax of DOW JONES
         NEWS.  Vancouver-based Eagle Qwest owns 18 golf centers in
         N.A. and has signed letters of intent to acquire eight more,
         while Family Golf owns or is constructing 76 centers in 19
         states.  Under terms of the deal, expected to close in the
         3Q, Family Golf will issue "approximately" 1.15 million
         shares of its stock.  Family Golf Chair & CEO Dominic Chang
         said Eagle Qwest's locations "perfectly complement" his
         company's regional concentration in the Northeast,
         Southeast, Upper Midwest and West (DOW JONES/NEWSDAY, 4/3).
              LINKS: Vancouver-based ski resort developer Intrawest
         plans to buy a 95% stake in AZ-based Raven Gold Group, which
         owns two upscale public golf courses and has management
         contracts for three more in the U.S., according to Peter
         Kennedy of the FINANCIAL POST.  The other 5% of the company
         will be retained by Raven's Owner-Operator Larry Lippon, who
         will become President of Raven/Intrawest Golf Group. 
         Intrawest said the deal "gives it the management and
         expertise to pursue growth in the golf resort business." 
         Acquisition prices were not disclosed (FINANCIAL POST, 4/6).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Finance, US West/Qwest
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