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Vanderbeek expects to retain control of Devils

Tuesday, 02.01.2011 / 8:21 PM / News

Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Jeff Vanderbeek isn't looking to sell the New Jersey Devils, unlike some of his partners.

Vanderbeek, the managing partner of the Devils, announced Tuesday that he has no desire to sell the NHL team and expects to maintain a controlling interest.

Vanderbeek acknowledged he and his partners have different visions for the franchise, and the minority owners Brick City LLC are exploring a sale.

Brick City LLC is the legal name for the Devils share owned by Ray Chambers and Mike Gilfillan, his son-in-law.

Gilfillan said the Brick City has exercised its contractual rights under its partnership agreement with Vanderbeek to cause a sale of the entire team and arena rights, subject to certain terms and conditions.

"Our goal was to use professional sports as a catalyst for economic development in Newark by constructing a state of the art arena for the teams as well as for concerts and family shows," Gilfillan said in a statement. "Brick City feels we have accomplished that objective with our partner Jeff Vanderbeek."

In his release, Vanderbeek says Brick City has a right under its partnership agreement to explore a sale and that it has hired Moag & Co., a Baltimore-based investment bank, to assist in its attempt to sell its share of the team.

"As managing member of the New Jersey Devils, it is not my desire to sell the team," Vanderbeek said. "My partner, Brick City, and I have different visions for the franchise. While Brick City has a right, under our partnership agreement, to explore a sale and Moag and Co. has been retained to assist in these effort, I anticipate maintaining a controlling interest."

Bloomberg reported earlier Tuesday that Vanderbeek was possibly selling the team.

A former Devils season ticket holder since the 1980s, Vanderbeek became a minority owner of the Devils in 2000, and he purchased the team and became its majority owner in 2004.

Vanderbeek was one of the leading proponents behind the building of the Prudential Center in Newark, which opened as the Devils' home in 2007. The New Jersey Nets are playing their home games at the arena this season and next before a planned move to a new arena in New York.

"The arena and the teams playing here have also attracted more people to come back to the city in an ongoing effort to restore pride, sports, arts, culture and business to this beautiful city," Gilfillan said.

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