ORONTO - It appears that $3.5 billion US may have just been a starting point for two U.S. firms that made a joint proposal to buy the entire National Hockey League.
According to a report in Friday's Toronto Star, a Wall Street financial services corporation and a sports advisory firm are prepared to substantially increase their initial offer of $3.5 billion US to purchase the 30 NHL teams.
Bain Capital Partners and Game Plan International - both based in Boston - made the initial offer to the league Tuesday in New York.
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In a 30-minute presentation to NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman, the companies outlined a plan for the league to operate under single ownership.
The two companies reportedly had a formula to compensate each team owner based on revenue, assets and market size. Under the $3.5 billion umbrella, each franchise would be worth an average of $117 million US.
Last week, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were sold for a reported $75 million US, a deal that included a $15 million US practice facility.
The league is reeling after a lockout caused the sport to become the first in North American history to cancel an entire season. With an estimated $500 million US in losses over the previous two seasons and no end to the labor dispute in sight, the proposal could be given significant consideration.
League owners turned down the offer after the presentation was made by the companies, which also planned to have a large Canadian-based financier join its ownership team.
Under the offer, the average franchise value would be $117 million US. The plan does include a formula to weigh compensation based upon revenue and assets of each team.