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Volume 24 No. 156


AEG Chair Philip Anschutz has “kicked off the auction” of the planned sale of the company, with an “expectation that the sports and entertainment giant should draw bids in the $10 billion range, higher than previously believed,” according to sources cited by Damouni & Bansal of REUTERS. Sources said that the "initial, 25-page AEG information memorandum that describes the business but has no financial information was expected to go to ‘dozens’ of potential buyers” yesterday. The sources added that the initial group of recipients “is expected to include rich individuals, rivals, sovereign wealth funds, real estate firms, and private equity firms.” The sources said that Anschutz is “likely to start signing non-disclosure agreements and send out the books with financial details by the end of the month.” The sources added that Anschutz “wants to keep the AEG platform in one piece because he believes the company's holdings are more valuable as a group than in individual pieces.” The price expectations and Anschutz' “insistence on keeping the platform and the management team in place, however, adds complexity to an eventual sale.” The confidentiality agreement with potential buyers is “expected to have a provision that will prevent parties from discussing joint bids.” The sources said that later on in the auction, possibly “around the second round, the advisers also plan to launch a parallel process to seek approvals from the various sports leagues for the bidders” (REUTERS, 10/9).

Xfinity Live Philadelphia, the "restaurant/bar/entertainment complex that opened March 30 and is down the street from the Wells Fargo Center, figures to be the hardest hit" by the loss of Flyers games due to the NHL lockout, according to Sam Carchidi of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. To "combat the loss of fan traffic, Xfinity Live -- part-owned by the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor -- is scheduling events that it hopes will draw customers." Xfinity Live Philadelphia VP/Marketing Rob Johnson said for every Flyers home game that is lost during the lockout, "we will have some sort of special event here." Plans include "showing the HBO documentary 'Broad Street Bullies' and Flyers trivia quiz nights that offer prizes to winners." Xfinity Live also is "looking into having Flyers coaches do a chalk talk and having Flyers alumni visit." Johnson said that Flyers season-ticket holders "may be offered discounts to the entire complex, which features six bars/eateries." He added that Xfinity Live "does not plan any layoffs during the lockout." Johnson said that it is "fair to estimate that patrons spend, on average, $25 at one of the complex's establishments." Carchidi noted, "multiply that by 2,500 fans who attend during Flyers games, and that's $62,500 that could be lost a night." If the NHL lockout "lasts the entire season -- as it did in 2004-05 -- Johnson doesn't believe it would destroy Xfinity Live." He said, "I think we've established ourselves here. We're confident we can stand on our own as a dining/entertainment district" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/7).