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ALBERTA BANK STEPS IN TO TAKE CONTROL OF OILERS SALE
Published November 24, 1997
The Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB) on Friday confirmed that it has "taken a direct role in the sale" of the NHL Oilers in an effort to "recoup some of the reported" $125M that it loaned Owner Peter Pocklington, according to Allan Maki of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. ATB has activated the 20- day "warning clause" in its '95 location agreement between Pocklington, the city of Edmonton and the Northlands Coliseum, which means there are now 20 days for local buyers "to produce a serious offer;" if there is no local interest, outside offers "will be considered." Maki wrote that with ATB's move, "it is believed" that potential buyers "will be willing to step forward and open their wallets." Maki added that it "is also believed" that the most local serious group, including Bruce Saville, Cal Nichols, Rod Hodgson, and others, "has yet to raise the money it needs to meet" the US$70M purchase price (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/22). ATB spokesperson Darlene Dickinson said that if a local offer is received in 20 days, "they would have an additional 40 days to finalize a deal." In addition, if an out-of-town offer is received, local buyers will have 30 days to match that offer or purchase the team for $70M (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 11/22). U.S. INTEREST: In Toronto, Al Strachan wrote that Rockets Owner Les Alexander is "still interested" in buying the team, however, after "being embarrassed" by Edmonton officials, Alexander's offer this time "may not be as magnanimous" (TORONTO SUN, 11/22). Strachan added that there is "every indication" that Edmonton politicians "made a big mistake when they played hardball" with Alexander. Strachan noted that the "word is" that the ATB plans to sell the team to "private enterprise" (TORONTO SUN, 11/23).