SBJ/June 18 - 24, 2001/Finance

Sports banker Melvin lands at PaineWebber

Former Merrill Lynch & Co. sports banker Chris Melvin has joined UBS PaineWebber in its sports and recreation group.

Melvin was laid off from Merrill in April after 81¼2 years managing its sports finance practice, which included such clients as the Phoenix Suns and New York Yankees.

Asked whether the Yankees were still his client or Merrill's, Melvin said that the Yankees "are making a decision to what they are going to do." The Yankees are considering stadium options that include building a new facility and renovating Yankee Stadium.

PaineWebber has largely been involved on the municipal side of sports, meaning it advises and manages debt sales for cities and states, not teams and leagues. The Sports Authority in Houston was a client, as is the city of St. Louis, which is considering building a new stadium for the Cardinals, Melvin said.

At PaineWebber, Melvin said he planned to work with teams, leagues and private individuals in sports.

"There are a fair number of stadium opportunities that still exist, and there are other opportunities that will surface," Melvin said. "Not just in the original financing, but refinancing of these stadiums, recapitalization of teams and internationally."

Sports bankers offer services from loans to acquisition advice to refinancing existing debt. But Melvin will work out of PaineWebber's sports and recreation group, which is housed in its municipal finance division. As at Merrill, he will do double duty in the utility business.

Melvin will work with PaineWebber's Jim Henson, who has handled sports out of the company's Philadelphia office. Melvin will be based in New York and is a managing director. He started work June 8.

UBS PaineWebber is a unit of UBS AG.

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