In a story first broken by J R Lind of the Nashville Post, and now confirmed by the Predators, an agreement is in place to purchase the shares previously owned by "Boots" Del Biaggio from the federal bankruptcy court. A hearing is set for August 6th for final approval of the sale.
The bargain-basement price for the shares is $15.2 million and will open opportunities for the Predators to go further in seeking new capital from potential owners.
Some interesting Tweets came from Canadian W. Brett Wilson earlier today where he said, "@WBrettWilson: I love Nashville - the town, the team, the people .... Never count me out - on any deal - I have patience - and love the great game of hockey - that said - only time will tell ..." Wilson is considered a leading candidate to buy into the ownership group.
A very upbeat Tom Ciggaran appeared on 104.5 The Zone on Wednesday afternoon and reiterated the information in the release put out by the Predators shortly before 3 p.m. CDT. Here is the full text of the release.
PREDATORS OWNERSHIP REACHES AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE SHARES PREVIOUSLY HELD BY WILLIAM “BOOTS” DEL BIAGGIO
Nashville (July 21, 2010) – Nashville Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran announced today that the Predators ownership group has signed an agreement with the bankruptcy trustee to acquire the entity (Forecheck Investments, LLC) containing ownership shares in the Nashville Predators held by the William “Boots” Del Biaggio bankruptcy estate.
The agreement has been approved by the creditor’s committee and has been submitted to the bankruptcy court for final approval. Upon securing approvals from the bankruptcy court, the NHL, the team’s lender, and the Sports Authority, the team expects to complete the purchase sometime in August. The shares are being purchased by Predators Holdings, LLC through funding from the local ownership group.
"This is a significant step forward to strengthen our franchise’s financial position,” Cigarran said. “We have worked with Todd Neilson (trustee for Boots Del Biaggio’s estate) to arrive at reasonable terms. This transaction eliminates a significant future liability and allows the Predators to move forward. We are pleased that Warren Woo (who originally joined the ownership group through a minority investment in Forecheck Investments) will continue his involvement in our ownership group. He brings keen insight and knowledge of business and hockey to our group.”
The Predators’ ownership group is purchasing Del Biaggio’s $25 million ownership stake for $15.2 million. In addition, the organization has agreed to withdraw its damage claims against the estate.
Upon completion of this transaction, Predators Holdings, LLC will consist of: Tom Cigarran (Chairman), Herb Fritch, Joel and Holly Dobberpuhl, David Freeman, Chris Cigarran, De Thompson V, John Thompson and Warren Woo. Predators Holdings LLC originally purchased the Predators in December, 2007.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass