ALBERTA BANK STEPS IN TO TAKE CONTROL OF OILERS SALE
The Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB) on Friday confirmed
that it has "taken a direct role in the sale" of the NHL
Oilers in an effort to "recoup some of the reported" $125M
that it loaned Owner Peter Pocklington, according to Allan
Maki of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. ATB has activated the 20-
day "warning clause" in its '95 location agreement between
Pocklington, the city of Edmonton and the Northlands
Coliseum, which means there are now 20 days for local buyers
"to produce a serious offer;" if there is no local interest,
outside offers "will be considered." Maki wrote that with
ATB's move, "it is believed" that potential buyers "will be
willing to step forward and open their wallets." Maki added
that it "is also believed" that the most local serious
group, including Bruce Saville, Cal Nichols, Rod Hodgson,
and others, "has yet to raise the money it needs to meet"
the US$70M purchase price (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/22). ATB
spokesperson Darlene Dickinson said that if a local offer is
received in 20 days, "they would have an additional 40 days
to finalize a deal." In addition, if an out-of-town offer is
received, local buyers will have 30 days to match that offer
or purchase the team for $70M (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 11/22).
U.S. INTEREST: In Toronto, Al Strachan wrote that
Rockets Owner Les Alexander is "still interested" in buying
the team, however, after "being embarrassed" by Edmonton
officials, Alexander's offer this time "may not be as
magnanimous" (TORONTO SUN, 11/22). Strachan added that
there is "every indication" that Edmonton politicians "made
a big mistake when they played hardball" with Alexander.
Strachan noted that the "word is" that the ATB plans to sell
the team to "private enterprise" (TORONTO SUN, 11/23).