SBD/Issue 152/Franchises

NHL Panthers In Merger Negotiations With Sports Properties

Panthers' Potential Merger Deal
Values Assets At $230M
The NHL Panthers are "in negotiations to merge the team, its arena management company and rights to the real estate surrounding BankAtlantic Center with Sports Properties Acquisition Corp.," according to sources cited by Daniel Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that the "potential deal values the assets at $230[M], including debt, with the plum in the talks a planned mixed-use development around the south Florida arena." Sources said that negotiations "have been taking place over the last several weeks." Medallion Financial Corp. President Andrew Murstein, who owns 18.1% of Sports Properties, and the Panthers declined to comment. Sources indicated that as part of the prospective deal, the Panthers' parent company, Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, "would receive stock in Sports Properties, making the hockey team a unit of the public company." Sources said that Sports Properties is "still looking at other assets in sports, including" the Canadiens. However, the Canadiens are "being auctioned and there are at least 10 parties that have been reported as looking to buy" the franchise. Sports Properties is "believed to be the only entity negotiating with the Panthers" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/27 issue).

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