SBD/June 17, 2013/Franchises

Devils Reportedly Miss Payment To Lenders; Team Looks To Sell Minority Stake

Vanderbeek last year refinanced the team’s debt and bought out his partners
Devils Owner Jeff Vanderbeek, less than six months after restructuring the team's debt, has "missed an interest payment," and the club now "risks defaulting on its new loan," according to a source cited by Josh Kosman of the N.Y. POST. The "latest financial blow-up" for Devils Arena Entertainment is "a missed interest payment in April" of nearly $3M. The firm, which also operates Prudential Center, "owes lenders roughly" $170M. Vanderbeek last year "struck a deal to refinance the team’s debt and buy out his partners" in an effort to give him "two years to stabilize the finances." But the combination of the lockout and the Devils missing the playoffs this season "blurred the financial picture." Sources said that Vanderbeek now "has until only this summer -- not until 2015 -- to sort out the problems." Sources added that the team is "looking to raise as much as" $20M by selling a minority stake, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "must dedicate some energy to help accomplish that goal." The NHL last year loaned the Devils roughly $25M and "agreed in December to not ask for payment" until July '14. But sources said that in recent months the league "ponied up again," this time advancing about $5M "in licensing and other shared revenue." The NHL as "a sizeable creditor to the Devils" now must approve "any major financial moves the team makes" (N.Y. POST, 6/17).
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