SBD/Issue 84/Franchises

Bird In The Hand: Rogers Becoming Sole Owner Of Blue Jays

Rogers Becoming Sole Owner Of Blue Jays

Toronto-based Rogers Communications is "poised to become the sole owner of" the Blue Jays after "buying up the minority stake" of Belgium-based Interbrew S.A., according to Tyler Hamilton of the TORONTO STAR. Rogers CEO Ted Rogers: "I think we're on track with the Blue Jays. ... We own 80[%] of it. We're buying out the 20[%] shareholder now. That sounds to me like a commitment." Rogers, who purchased the 80% stake in '00 for C$164M, has "held the option of acquiring Interbrew's minority share at any time," but Interbrew "held the right to require Rogers to purchase the rest of the team" for C$45M, with 9% annual interest. Rogers "did not say how much his company would pay or whether Interbrew is forcing the equity purchase." Interbrew officials were unavailable for comment. Dominion Bond Rating Services Analyst Rory Buchalter said that Rogers' purchase would "take funding away that would otherwise go to reducing Rogers' debt" (TORONTO STAR, 1/21).

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