SBD/8/Franchises

SMILEY-ING FACES ALL AROUND: MARLINS SALE NEAR COMPLETE?

          Marlins President Don Smiley "has lined up five
     investors and is close to landing the two more he needs to
     give him enough money to buy the Marlins" from Wayne
     Huizenga for $169.5M, according to Alan Snel of the Ft.
     Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL.  According to sources, the "key to
     the deal" is securing the support of the final two
     investors, one of which is FL-based radio station WQAM,
     which would contribute $15M "if an agreement can be reached
     on specific terms."  The other investor, which Smiley "will
     not identify," would put in an additional $25M.  Snel adds
     that Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, "briefed on the
     long-delayed bid" last night, "gave his OK and said it
     likely will be ready for a vote" by MLB owners in "about
     three weeks" (Alan Snel, Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 7/8).

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