SBD/March 29, 2013/Franchises

AltaCorp. Capital CEO George Gosbee Emerges As Potential Coyotes Buyer

Gosbee reportedly could close on a Coyotes deal by early next week
AltaCorp. Capital Chair & CEO George Gosbee "emerged Thursday as part of a group of fellow Canadian investors who hope to close a deal to purchase" the Coyotes from the NHL for $170M as early as next week, according to sources cited by Scott Burnside of ESPN.com. Gosbee represents several investors joining forces with former Ice Edge Holdings CEO Anthony LeBlanc. If a deal is completed, the group would work with the city of Glendale to "hammer out a new lease agreement" at Jobing.com Arena. Former Sharks CEO Greg Jamison previously attempted to buy the team, but could "not come up with the required financing" and has "ceased to be a factor in the team's potential sale." Sources said that the NHL will "not operate in Glendale for another season if new owners can't be found" (ESPN.com, 3/28). The GLOBE & MAIL's David Shoalts notes Gosbee travels in the "same circles" as Flames Owner Murray Edwards and he is friends with Oilers Owner Daryl Katz, which is "always a plus in the clubby NHL." But a source said that this deal is going to be "the same as all the previous failed attempts to buy the Coyotes -- it will depend on a sweetheart arena lease from the suburban city of Glendale." NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly have to "resolve where the Coyotes will play next season in time to draw up the schedule." While there have been "reports this needs to be done before the playoffs start ... Bettman has shown in the past he can drag things out until late June" (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/29).

BEACON OF LIGHT? In Phoenix, Paul Giblin reports the Glendale City Council has "hired Beacon Sports Capital Partners of Needham, Mass., to solicit bids from management companies to run the arena and to handle the city’s negotiations with potential Coyotes owners." Council member Gary Sherwood said that Beacon is "expected to elicit requests for proposals for companies to manage the arena early next week." Beacon’s involvement "essentially creates a new deadline for investors to buy the team, because council members are open to the idea of an independent management firm taking over operations of the arena." If potential new team owners "want the arena management business, which was essential to Jamison’s proposal, they’ll have to strike a deal with the city before an independent management firm does" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/29).
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