SBD/Issue 234/Franchises

Sansone Jr. Looking Into Joining Barrie As Lightning Owner

Sansone Jr. May Soon Join
Barrie As Lightning Owner
Sansone Group Principal Tony Sansone Jr. said his group is "in the advance stages of due diligence" to determine whether to join Lightning co-Owner Len Barrie as an owner of the team, but he  "would not say" when he will make a final decision, according to Damian Cristodero of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES. Sansone: "There's a lot that has to be done and a lot that has to be handicapped." Barrie is currently "in the midst of a league-mandated 60-day window to buy out" Lightning co-Owner Oren Koules, and if Barrie "fails by what is thought to be a mid-September deadline, Koules will get a chance to buy out Barrie." Sansone "may provide Barrie's best and last chance" to get a sale done. Sansone said, "I like what the NHL is doing from a brand standpoint. I think the leadership is superb. The [CBA] that was negotiated is something that makes a great deal of sense. ... It has the potential of being a nice investment. But, again, we're still trying to ascertain what this all really means with the numbers and personnel" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 8/22).

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE? The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts cited sources as saying that Barrie is "likely to throw in the towel on his one-year run as co-owner ... next Saturday, clearing the way" for Koules to take over. It "looks as if Barrie has to drop out before his September deadline because he is fighting to save" his B.C.-based Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. Barrie "needs to work out a new financing deal" on the development, as he and his investors have been "whipsawed by falling prices and the drying up of bank credit" (GLOBE & MAIL, 8/22).

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