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S.F. group meets on Giants

The investor group trying to save the Giants for San Francisco emerged from a four-hour meeting Monday to say only they were "making progress" and would make an offer for the team later this week.

Among the deal-makers huddled in the 49th-floor offices of real-estate developer Walter Shorenstein were the group's lead investor, George Shinn, San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan and a host of lawyers.

The group, thought to number as many as 16, was meeting for the first time since Sept. 4, when Shinn, Shorenstein and grocery store executive Peter Magowan announced the group would counter a $115-million offer from a Tampa Bay group.

Since Shinn was last in San Francisco, the group has been given access to the Giants' financial records _ the step the local investors required before they would commit to the deal.

Indications were the meeting would cover several key topics, including:

The team's financial records. Shinn has said he might have to sell his prospective partners on investing in the Giants once they see the records. He has admitted the records look bad but said he could use his marketing skills to turn the franchise around.

Legal issues. Some members of the group reportedly are worried about lawsuits from the Tampa Bay area. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted recently to protect the group from any legal attack over the deal but questions remain over whether that protection is complete.

The price. The San Francisco Examiner has reported there is disagreement among the investors over how much to offer for the team. Shinn has indicated he thinks the Giants are not worth the $115-million Tampa businessman Vincent Naimoli and his partners are willing to pay. There have been reports some of the San Francisco investors are pondering a price as low as $95-million. Others in the group want the offer to be higher. Baseball officials have said only that the San Francisco offer should be "competitive."

Larry Baer, a CBS-TV executive working to put the deal together, called the reports of dissension among the investors "totally inaccurate." When asked whether there were differences among the investors about how much should be offered for the team, Baer said, "There's no problem with that at all."

Leadership. Shorenstein is heading the San Francisco portion of the group and would team with Shinn, who owns the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association. But some investors reportedly want Shorenstein to step aside in favor of Magowan. Meanwhile, Shinn is the lead investor and is said to be willing to put $20-million cash into the deal and borrow as much as $30-million.