According to a published report, there is a new investor interested in buying the Phoenix Coyotes franchise.
The Coyotes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May.
A group of six core investors is ready to bid on the franchise, according to the Globe and Mail. That group would be in competition with Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who has already made a bid to buy the franchise with an offer valued at up to $148 million.
Daryl Jones, a manager director at Research Edge LLC in New Haven, Conn., is one of the six investors and he told the Globe and Mail for Saturday's edition that his group is ready to submit an official bid and become what the bankruptcy court would consider a "qualified bidder."
All formal bids must be submitted by July 24 in time for the U.S. bankruptcy court's auction on Aug. 5 for bidders interested in keeping the club in Phoenix. The offers by Reinsdorf and the Jones' group are the only ones to meet those criteria so far.
"I think we are comfortable with the fact that there's a business opportunity here," Jones told the paper.
The group, composed of businessmen from both Canada and the United States, met Thursday with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. There, the group was encouraged to put together its best possible bid and submit it for consideration.
Jones, a Canadian, said his group is still finalizing its offer, but it will be in the same financial neighborhood as the one made by Reinsdorf, who says that a new arena lease for Jobing.com Arena, the Coyotes home rink in suburban Glendale, is central to his bid.
Jones says his group also wants a new lease for the arena and he says that his group has had several meetings with City of Glendale officials.
The complete makeup of the six-man investor group has not been revealed, but Jones said it was a group of successful businessmen who believe they can make a go of the Coyote franchise in its present location.
"It's a group of relatively young guys, versus the average [NHL] ownership group, that's done pretty well in their careers and kind of looks at this as potentially an interesting next step," he told the paper.