Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tampa's price tag: $206-million (U.S.)

A group of investors led by Doug MacLean and partner Jeff Sherrin will pay slightly more than $206-million (all figures U.S.) for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Globe and Mail has learned.
His group, known as Absolute Hockey Enterprises, includes a Hollywood producer, Oren Koules, a Chicago native who played junior and minor league hockey and made his first big money as a commodities trader. The other as yet unidentified investors include Canadians with an ownership stake in junior hockey, sources say.
That narrows the field quite a bit as to who these other owners could be. There are quite a few ex-NHLers now involved with junior ownership, and it's possible one or more of them could be among those buying in with the Lightning.

Anyone else have a read on just who it could be?



At 7:32 p.m., August 09, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

Based on Forbes magazine's valuation of NHL Teams - done in November, 2006 - there has been a considerable increase in team values over the past year.

Forbes valued the Tampa Bay Lightning (no building) at $172 million versus the selling price of $206 million - a $34 million premium (all US$).

Forbes valued the Nashville Preditors (no building) at $134 million versus the selling price of $193 million - a $59 million premium (all US$).

These numbers also help to explain why the current Edmonton ownership group (EIG) has rejected Katz's most recent offer for the team of $185 million Cdn.

Forbes valued the Oilers (no building)at $146 million US. Applying the two premiums above, and converting to Canadian dollars at today's exchange rate gives a valuation between $190 million and $220 million Canadian. Katz's last offer of $185 million Canadian is therefore quite low.

Given that the rise of the Canadian dollar has made the Oilers even more profitabler than estimated last November, Katz will have to increasse his offer to $220 million Canadian if he is really serious about acquiring the team.

It also appears that local Vancouver businessman Francesco Acquilini, practically stole the Vancouver Canucks when he bought both the team AND the 10 year old GM Place arena for $250 million US
over a year ago.

I also still believe that Teachers will soon put MLSE on the selling block. Teachers private equity arm is very good at buying low and selling high - and right now Canadian hockey teams are at all time high valuations. If you include the Leafs, the Raptors, Air Canada Centre, and all other assets of MLSE you are probably looking at close to $1 billion of value.

The most likely buyer is Rogers Communications which is sitting on a huge pile of cash and looking for acquisitons. The assets would fit in well with the Blue Jays, the Rogers Centre and Sportsnet. But we probably won't know about it until the deal is done. Since MLSE is a private company it doesn't have to publicly announce that its up for sale.


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