Otten may buy BoSox

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— Former American Skiing Co. CEO Les Otten has surfaced a leader of one of the groups that has shown interest in purchasing the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

Otten resigned his post with the parent company of the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. March 27. He and television producer Tom Werner reportedly are heading one group of bidders for the Red Sox. There are eight groups making bids for the team.

Otten was unavailable for comment, but his name was among those cited in a June 8 Boston Globe article on the potential sale of the team.

Otten's resignation came just five days after American Skiing and MeriStar Hotels and Resorts abandoned plans to merge. He told Steamboat Today in December 2000 he had no plans to leave the company post-merger. He was to have become chairman of the new company formed by the merger, Doral International. However, Otten said at the time of his resignation he had been contemplating seeking new opportunities since merger talks began almost a year ago.

Werner is co-founder of the independent television company Carsey-Werner, which produced "The Cosby Show," "Roseanne" and "Third Rock from the Sun." He was managing partner of the San Diego Padres.

The Red Sox are in many ways New England's baseball team, and Otten has strong ties to the area he began American Skiing with Sunday River ski area in Maine.

An attorney for the Jean R. Yawkey Trust, which is selling its 53.5-percent stake in the baseball team, said the sale has moved into a phase where eight interested buyers are being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement in return for the ability to see the team's financial records.

Other groups reportedly interested in the Red Sox include Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, Pittsburgh Penguins owner Roger Marino and Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan.

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