SBJ/January 21-27, 2013/Finance

Dallas Stars refinance $95M in assumed debt

The Dallas Stars refinanced $95 million, sources said, closing the long book on the troubled history of the debt of Hicks Sports Group.

Team owner Tom Gaglardi assumed the debt when he bought the club out of bankruptcy in November 2011. The Stars had been part of Hicks Sports Group, which defaulted on its roughly $600 million of debt in 2009 and went into bankruptcy a year later.

Not one of the original Hicks Sports lenders came out whole, sources said, and the second lien lenders, representing about $75 million, got nothing back, making the deal one of the worst in sports finance annals.

The Stars deal is a fairly straightforward refinancing. Four banks, led by Bank of America, lent the Stars the money to repay roughly three dozen lenders who held the debt. In addition to Bank of America, HSBC, Comerica and Spanish bank BBVA are part of the new syndicate.

The sources said the NHL lockout did not hamper the deal, in part because of guarantees Gaglardi put behind the debt.

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