Bidding for Boots's share
Herb Fritch, a minority partner in the NHL team, plus two other sources told The Globe and Mail Tuesday the Predators ownership group headed by majority owner David Freeman has bid for Del Biaggio's 27-per-cent share of the team, which is under the control of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco.
One source said the bid for the 27-per-cent stake is for $20-million. In Del Biaggio's bankruptcy filing, the share is said to be worth $23.5-million, and is his biggest single asset. Fritch declined to say how much the partners bid, but admitted it was at a discount to the stated value.Twenty-seven per cent of the Predators is apparently not worth a heckuva lot these days. At that bargain-basement rate, the entire team would be worth only about $75-million — not the $176-million it was purchased from Craig Leipold for last year.
Ponying up another $20-million makes an awful lot of sense for the local ownership group here, given they'll "own 95.4 per cent of the team," an asset that has an actual worth potentially far higher than the cash they had to pay out.
Also apparently attempting to nab that 27-per-cent share is Jim Balsillie, who Stephen Brunt says may be the beneficiary of all the bad news down south this week. (Not that he's been immune.)
I haven't the foggiest how a bankruptcy court will attempt to sort this mess out, but one imagines that that laundry list of creditors would be after the greatest return for Del Biaggio's assets as possible. And to me that says that someone willing to pay well north of $20-million for a 27-per-cent share could just come away with that.
“I believe our group has to approve any sale of those shares, so we have some control over who gets them,” Fritch said, before adding he was not sure if that right would hold up in bankruptcy court.This may take a while.
“I don't care what the amount [of the bid] is, it's got to be approved by the powers that be,” he said. “I think the bankruptcy trustee has to take that into account.”