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Volume 24 No. 155

Finance

          SportsLine USA made its second initial public offering
     filing with the SEC.  An IPO date will be set after the SEC
     replies to this second filing, and after SportsLine "answers
     its questions satisfactorily" (AD AGE, 9/18)....Shares of
     Skis Rossignol S.A. rose yesterday on speculation it might
     be a "takeover target."  Analysts said Nike "might be
     prompted" to bid for Rossignol, after adidas's $1.35B
     purchase of Salomon (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18). 

          The Fleet Financial Group's attempt to "change its
     image from a rah-rah civic booster to more of a bottom-line-
     oriented group," examined by Tina Cassidy of the BOSTON
     GLOBE.  Fleet yesterday finalized a $185M loan to the
     Ravens, which company spokesperson James Mahoney said is
     "being viewed around the league as breaking new ground in
     terms of financing because of the structure, because of the
     level of debt.  The more sophisticated debt structure allows
     for a higher level of debt."  Cassidy adds that the Ravens'
     deal "some say, was meant to put the industry on notice that
     Fleet's sports lending division is not retreating in the
     wake" of the John Spano incident.  In a related note,
     Celtics CFO Richard Pond discussed the team's decision to
     "shop for another bank" and sever ties with Fleet.  Pond:
     "They weren't being as proactive as we wanted them to be.  I
     think a big part of a relationship is feeling like you're
     really wanted.  Much like a personal relationship would be. 
     I think also, in their defense, they were going through a
     period internally where they didn't know who was going to be
     leading the charge."  Fleet execs say the team's decision
     "has nothing to do" with the resignation of David Splaine,
     former head of its sports lending division, "and everything
     to do with money" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/17).

          FL-based Executive Sports Vice Chair & COO Steve
     Nicklaus, the son of Jack Nicklaus, and FL-based Muirfield
     Village Golf Club VP John Hines announced plans to buy
     Executive Sports, the sports marketing and management
     division of Golden Bear International.  The two companies,
     which have reached a tentative agreement, will continue to
     be closely affiliated as separate entities of GBI (GBI).