SBD/September 7, 2011/Franchises

Gaglardi Moving Forward With Stars Acquisition After Agreeing To Terms

Stars' ownership situation could be settled by Christmas of this year
Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi, the NHL and the Stars' creditors "have agreed to a price and all other documents related to Gaglardi purchasing the team out of bankruptcy," according to a source cited by Juan Elizondo Jr. of the DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The source indicated that Stars officials are "confident about the deal and will move forward to bring the team out of bankruptcy if lienholders approve the plan." The bankruptcy court process "would open the door for other potential buyers" to bid against Gaglardi. Bids would "push the process about two months," but if "no other offers were made, Gaglardi could have the team in about a month after the proposal is presented to the bankruptcy court" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/2). In Dallas, Gerry Fraley noted Gaglardi's bid on Friday "triggered a process that should have a new owner in within three months." The "next step is for Monarch Alternative Capital, which took control when Hicks Sports Group defaulted on $525 million in loans in 2009, to submit a prepackaged bankruptcy plan to a court." The plan "calls for a filing on Sept. 14 in Delaware district court." Prepackaged bankruptcy is "considered to be a quick and smooth process because new financing, the Gaglardi bid, is already in place and management has reached agreement with creditors on the major details." The bankruptcy court "will allow any interested parties one last chance at the Stars." If at least one bidder is "willing to beat Gaglardi’s offer by a minimum of $10 million, the Stars will go into auction" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/3). Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said last week that he "has been told by the league that the sale should be completed before Christmas" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 9/2).

CHANGING LINES: In Toronto, Kevin McGran noted the NHL "has three troubled franchises" for sale -- the Stars, Coyotes and Blues. The league-owned Coyotes reportedly have two bidders "looking to keep the team in Arizona," and the Blues "have found a new investor" in Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said, "In a perfect world, settled and stable ownership is always better than the alternative. But the fact that certain clubs are for sale (or will be sold) does not, in itself, raise cause for concern" (TORONTO STAR, 9/5).
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