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TIMBERWOLVES DEAL IN TROUBLE AGAIN? MORE FINANCING PROBLEMS
Published October 27, 1994
"The on-again-off-again Timberwolves/Target Center deal is threatened anew," according to this morning's ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, which reports that potential Wolves owner Glen Taylor has lost "major sources of money for the deal." First Bank System had planned to invest $9M in the Wolves, but ran into questions from bank regulators and withdrew, according to sources familiar with the deal. Bank companies are not supposed to own more than 5% of voting stock in nonbanking businesses, "and federal regulators balked at First Bank's plan to own" about 10% of the Wolves. Taylor: "It's a new glitch, and I would have preferred it not come up." When asked if this would undo the deal: "I hope not." The deal is not supposed to be closed until December when Taylor is to have his financing lined up and public agencies are to have sold $54M in bonds for a Target Center buyout. Taylor feels "pretty comfortable" that he can find investors willing to put in a minimum of $1M each by then. Taylor and Twins owner Carl Pohlad have talked in the past about the "long-term possibility of combining the basketball and baseball teams in one company, with the possibility of selling shares to the public in several years." Taylor declined to say if Pohlad would "pinch hit for First Bank" (Gail Marks Jarvis, ST. PAUL PIONEER-PRESS, 10/27).