SBD/March 2, 2011/Franchises

EXCO's Douglas Miller Bids For Stars, But Is It A Stalking Horse For Cuban?

Stars reportedly have lost between $26-28M over the past 12 months
Dallas-based EXCO Resources Chair & CEO Douglas Miller reportedly has "made an offer to purchase the Stars, but there is also speculation" that it could be a "stalking horse" bid to set the team's value for a possible bid from Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, according to Ken Campbell of THE HOCKEY NEWS. Miller's offer is believed to be for about $110M in cash, though it "would likely be publicly announced as somewhere in the $225 million range." That is because in "addition to the purchase price, Miller would assume about $20 million in existing debt, most of which is owed to the NHL for the advancement of television and revenue sharing money to help keep the Stars afloat." Also built into the purchase price would be four years of losses estimated at about $25M per year. A source indicated that the Stars have lost between $26-28M "over the past 12 months." While NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in January insisted that the league is "not funding the Stars," sources said that the Stars have "been using advances on television and revenue sharing money and have required more than one advance to continue to pay the bills as a new owner is sought to replace Tom Hicks." Campbell noted there also is "growing speculation that despite not publicly declaring interest in the Stars, Cuban is waiting in the background to make an offer that will be slightly better than the one received for the team and could ultimately end up owning both the Stars and the Mavericks." The Stars and Mavericks "split the revenues" from American Airlines Arena, so if Cuban were to "buy the Stars, all revenues would be coming to the same entity and costs could be saved in terms of marketing and staff if both teams were owned by the same person" (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 3/1).

SALE MOVING FORWARD? In Dallas, Mike Heika cited a source as saying that Miller, the Stars' lenders and the NHL last night "already were discussing counteroffers to the deal." Cuban in an e-mail reiterated his interest in American Airlines Center and added, "Nothing has changed on my end" (DALLASNEWS.com, 3/1). The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts reports while there are "four groups interested in buying the Dallas Stars, none of them have submitted a bid" for the team. Aside from Miller and Cuban, Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi and MLB Rangers investor Billy Quinn, "another Dallas oil-and-gas man," are said to be interested in the Stars (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/2).
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Dallas Stars, Franchises, Hockey

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