SBD/3/Franchises

HUIZENGA SAYS PANTHERS SALE TAKING MORE TIME THAN PLANNED

          Boca Resorts Chair Wayne Huizenga told company
     shareholders yesterday "there has been a lot of activity"
     regarding the potential sale of the NHL Panthers, but "there
     have been no offers," according to Patrick Danner of the
     MIAMI HERALD.  Boca Resorts has been trying to sell the club
     for "nearly a year," as officials believe the team "is a
     drag on the stock price."  Asked why it is taking so long to
     sell the team, Huizenga said, "First, what's happening in
     sports today is a little difficult.  We have had significant
     interest.  We just have not been able to agree on a price." 
     Danner: "Without elaborating on those difficulties, Huizenga
     said declining attendance has not been a factor in the
     failure to find a buyer" (MIAMI HERALD, 11/3).  Company
     officials told Charles Elmore of the PALM BEACH POST that
     they are talking to a prospective buyer from outside FL and
     are "willing to be flexible on an asking price that was
     once" in the $150-175M range.  Boca Resorts Vice Chair Rich
     Rochon, on the $175M asking price: "We're not going to give
     it away, but we're going to listen to offers below that." 
     Officials "repeated assurances the team would remain" in
     South FL because of a 30-year lease at the National Car
     Rental Center.  Huizenga said that neither Boca Resorts
     investor Bill Gates nor former Devils Owner John McMullen
     are suitors of the team (PALM BEACH POST, 11/3). 
  
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