03-04-2005, 11:58 AM
RZ Chamber of Commerce
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: San Antonio
Re: Firm makes bid to buy all 30 NHL teams for 3.5 Billion
The buyers had better bring more money to the table...
NHL cold to offer to buy all 30 teams
Friday, March 04, 2005
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Even though the NHL is closed for business, itís not for sale.
The league confirmed yesterday that two companies offered to buy all 30 franchises, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, for approximately $3.25 billion at a board of governors meeting Tuesday in New York.
Quickly, voices from throughout the league downplayed the takeover attempt.
"Whenever somebodyís talking billions, you have to listen," Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean said. "But I can honestly say that after the presentation was over, there wasnít much discussion, if any, among any of the owners. I havenít heard any discussion of it since, and I donít suspect Iíll hear any in the future."
Blue Jackets owner John H. McConnell was not available for comment, a club spokesman said. MacLean is planning to meet soon with McConnell, who recently returned to central Ohio from Florida.
"Weíre going to talk about what went on at the board of governors meetings," MacLean said. "(The offer to buy the league) is not anywhere near the top of my list."
Bain Capital Partners LLC, a private investment firm in Boston, is the primary bidder. Game Plan LLC, which helps broker sales of sports franchises, is a secondary partner.
Under their plan, budgets would be set by a central office before each season, with revenues distributed equally among the 30 franchises.
"We would keep in place team management, team presidents, the general managers," Game Plan chairman Robert Caporale told WBZ radio in Boston. "They would be completely autonomous."
The NHL claimed $2.1 billion in revenue for the 2003-04 season. But a lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season and threatens to do the same to 2005-06.
The $3.25 billion works out to $108.3 million per franchise. A handful of NHL teams would love to garner that much money. But others, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers, are worth far more.
"I canít speak for the other 29 teams," Maple Leafs president Richard Peddie said, "but itís of no interest to us."
The Blue Jackets paid $80 million to join the NHL as an expansion franchise in 2000.
Would they be sold for $100 million?
"I wouldnít think so," MacLean said, laughing.