Shaw denies interest in Vancouver Grizzlies

3/15/01

Calgary - Shaw Communications Inc. has denied any interest in purchasing the NBA Vancouver Grizzlies.

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley is in the process of trying to move the franchise, with New Orleans reported a prime location. He has until March 26 to tell the league where he'd like to move the team.

Reports surfaced recently that a person or group has sought to start discussions with Heisley to buy the club and keep it in Vancouver. Shaw was reported as a possible candidate.

"We are not involved in any discussions to purchase the Vancouver Grizzlies franchise," Jim Shaw, chief executive officer for Shaw Communications, said in a press release Wednesday.

"However, we do hope that the Grizzlies are successful in securing an interested buyer that will enable the NBA franchise to remain in Vancouver."

Heisley, who bought the Grizzlies for $160 million (U.S.) last year, says he will lose more than $40 million this season. He blames a low season ticket base, dwindling attendance and weak corporate support for his loses.

The Chicago businessman also has made it clear he won't consider any offer less than $200 million. He claims U.S. buyers are willing to pay that much should he decide to sell the team.

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