The Chase Manhattan Corp. has established a group designed to focus exclusively on advising and financing the sports industry. The Global Sports Advisory & Finance Group will be run by VP Robert Tilliss, who will report to Mark Davis, co-head of mergers and acquisitions who also has client management responsibilities for several of Chase's global industry groups. The Tilliss-led group will utilize Chase's int'l corporate, private and venture capital client base to advise, structure and execute transactions for pro leagues, teams and facilities. Chase has previously advised pro teams and currently has relationships with the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. In addition, Chase Capital Partners recently joined with IMG to form IMG/Chase Sports Capital, which is designed to invest in the sports industry (Chase). In AMERICAN BANKER, J. Alex Tarquino reports that Chase's syndicated lending muscle "has propelled it into the top ranks of domestic sports lending. It was the third largest loan syndicator to the U.S. sports industry over the last 12 months." But the bank is "relatively late in organizing a sports industry group," as both Fleet and NationsBank have had specialty groups for years (AMERICAN BANKER, 8/13).
News Corp., "showing improved performance across all of its businesses except newspapers," reported fiscal fourth- quarter net income of $233M, or $.23 per share, compared with write-down related losses of $270M posted in the same period last year. Full-year net income more than doubled to $1.14B, or $1.17 per share, compared with $561M a year earlier, "driven mostly by gains from News Corp.'s 22 TV stations and movie performance" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/13). ...Zapata Corp. CEO Avram Glazer, whose company has begun aggressively purchasing Web sites and hopes to establish its ZAP.com as one of the Web's leading portal sites, participated in an online chat on the Wall Street Journal site on Tuesday. Glazer, on the types of sites Zapata is looking to acquire: "We look for sites that are unique, not easily duplicated (anyone can provide news, weather, and sports) -- sites with a loyal audience -- and sites that would fit well within the ZAP framework" (THE DAILY).