SBD/Issue 197/Franchises

Balsillie's Attorneys Criticize Reinsdorf's Bid For Coyotes

Balsillie's Attorneys Pick
Apart Reinsdorf's Coyotes Bid
Attorneys for RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie “have criticized a proposed bid" for the Coyotes, saying in a court filing that the offer from White Sox and Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf is “not good for all creditors and won’t likely succeed,” according to Paul Waldie of the GLOBE & MAIL. Reinsdorf has offered to pay up to $148M for the Coyotes, but his offer “carries several conditions, including negotiating a new lease with the City of Glendale.” Balsillie has offered $212.5M to buy the club, which he intends to relocate to Hamilton. Balsillie’s attorneys yesterday in a bankruptcy court filing “picked apart the Reinsdorf offer, saying it provides no payments to the Coyotes’ current majority owner Jerry Moyes and covers only secured creditors.” The attorneys in the filing argued “there is a significant likelihood that the Reinsdorf bid will not be finalized, and if finalized, will not be held the ‘best’ bid for the Coyotes bankruptcy estate.” Balsillie’s attorneys also asked Judge Redfield Baum to ensure bidders are not “misled into a NHL contention that they are bound to accept whatever ‘transfer fee’ to the NHL and ‘indemnification fee’ to neighbouring teams the NHL chooses to assess as a total relocation fee” (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/1).

BACKING THE BID: The AP’s Andrew Bagnato noted the NHL “believes Jerry Reinsdorf can succeed where Jerry Moyes failed.” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, “Obviously, some of the numbers aren’t pretty, but they obviously see potential. … At the end of the day, what we have and what’s been submitted to the court, we think is the best offer that’s out there, and we’re trying to maximize the value for all creditors.” When asked what might happen if the team continues to lose money, Daly said that Reinsdorf “appears committed to keeping the team in Glendale.” Daly: “There’s certainly been no indication that this bid is kind of a temporary, let’s-see-how-it-works-and-then-let’s-bolt kind of bid. I think they’re committed to the long-term future of this franchise. If it doesn’t work for whatever reason, I think they’ll try to find a local owner before they try to relocate the franchise” (AP, 6/30). Daly also said that the NHL “would do what is ‘reasonable and necessary’ to assist the team” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 7/1).

SUMMER SKATE: In Phoenix, Rebekah Sanders noted the Coyotes are “seeing positive signs for the hockey team’s future in Glendale.” Coyotes President & COO Doug Moss said that an autograph signing with several players “drew 3,000 fans to a recent open house at Arena.” It was the “largest summer showing" since the team moved from Phoenix to Glendale six years ago. The Coyotes this summer will host “more open houses, which the team uses to drum up anticipation for the next season and promote season ticket packages.” Moss “would not say how many ticket packages have been sold so far” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/30).

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