SBD/Issue 176/Franchises

Hurricanes Owner Searching For A Partner In Raleigh Area

Karmanos Is Looking To Sell 49%
Of Hurricanes To A Local Partner

Hurricanes Owner Peter Karmanos yesterday said the team is a "community asset" and it "would make sense to have a partner who lives and works in the Raleigh area," according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. Karmanos has hired Allen & Co. to sell a "full 49 percent" of the team, but stressed that he "was not looking to sell" a majority stake in the club. Karmanos: "That's my baby." Alexander notes while a new investor "would have a hand in management decisions, Karmanos would remain majority owner and represent the Hurricanes at the league's board of governors meetings, where NHL issues are discussed." With Karmanos living in Detroit, "local representation within the ownership group would further ensure the stability of the team" in Raleigh. Local business leaders "praised the possibility of some local ownership for the Hurricanes, although no one publicly expressed interest Monday in buying a share of the team." Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Harvey Schmitt said, "It would be terrific for the Hurricanes to find someone locally to be a part of the team. I think the business community and the community in general have adopted the Hurricanes, and a local ownership in the team would only cement that relationship into the future." Former Hurricanes President Jim Cain: "It's always good to have someone with that abiding commitment to the community who understands the role the team plays in the community." Karmanos said that the "financial health of the NHL was stronger than that of other leagues." He said, "Hockey is in great shape financially" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 5/25).

POWER PLAY: In Raleigh, Luke DeCock writes the news that Karmanos has hired Allen & Co. to "help him find an investor to buy part of the NHL team is no cause for alarm, let alone panic." If anything, it is a "long overdue move on Karmanos' part that should only accelerate the process of finding a local partner in the franchise." Karmanos has been "talking for more than six years about bringing in a local owner." His decision to "seek help finding a buyer for" former co-Owner Thomas Thewes' share in the team "isn't groundbreaking." It is an "incremental move forward in a process that has taken too long already" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 5/25).

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