Hurricanes enter into purchase agreement, will not relocate
Karmanos Jr. would retain minority share under new ownerby Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer
MANALAPAN, Fla. -- The Carolina Hurricanes have entered into a purchase agreement for controlling interest in the team that strengthens its commitment to the Raleigh market, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday.
Tom Dundon, a Dallas-based businessman, would become majority owner, and current owner Peter Karmanos Jr. would retain an equity stake.
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Commissioner Bettman said the Hurricanes would not be relocated. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"I want to address one matter about as crystal clear and as absolute terms as I can: Tom Dundon is buying his interest in the Hurricanes to have the Hurricanes in Carolina," Commissioner Bettman said. "This is not a team that is being moved. The rumors that it might be moving somewhere else are absolutely incorrect, made up, fabrications, wrong, wrong, wrong."
To complete the purchase, Dundon will have to enter into a standard agreement with a clause that prevents owners from applying for relocation for seven years after they take over.
Commissioner Bettman also said it's a coincidence that Dundon is from Texas and that Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has expressed an interest in adding an NHL team to play at Toyota Center. Fertitta became owner of the NBA team in October.
"The club is not going anywhere with Mr. Dundon's purchase, and for those of you who know geography, the fact that he lives in Dallas and that happens to be in the same state as Houston has nothing to do with anything," Commissioner Bettman said. "He's buying the club to have it in Carolina. I want to be crystal clear on this because it's really not fair to the players, the fans or anybody in the (Research) Triangle that this rumor has started. It's just not accurate."
Dundon will take control of all operations, pending NHL approval and completion of the sale, which Commissioner Bettman said could be accomplished within the next month.
"I am thrilled to continue to build upon what Peter Karmanos started in Raleigh," Dundon told the Hurricanes website. "The Hurricanes are a team on the rise, and I believe we have an opportunity to take the franchise to the next level. I'm ready to get to work."
Commissioner Bettman said the NHL executive committee interviewed Dundon at the Board of Governors meeting Thursday after the agreement was signed Wednesday night.
"So, obviously while they signed the agreement [Wednesday] night we had a sense this was coming and we were able to conduct background checks that we typically do in advance of such an interview," Commissioner Bettman said. "The transaction is not yet ready to close but our anticipation is in the next few weeks, maybe before the holidays, maybe early January, everything that has to be accomplished to close the transaction will be closed."
Dundon is chairman and managing partner of Dundon Capital Partners and co-chairman of Topgolf.
"Tom has had tremendous success in business, and I fully expect that to continue as he takes control of the Hurricanes," Karmanos said. "I look forward to working with him and bringing another Stanley Cup to North Carolina."
The team has been owned by Karmanos since 1994, when he purchased the Hartford Whalers. He moved them to North Carolina in 1997, when they were renamed. They played in Greensboro for two seasons before moving to Raleigh.
Carolina won the Stanley Cup in 2005-06 but has made the Stanley Cup Playoffs once since then (2008-09).
Karmanos was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the category of builder in 2015.
In July, Bloomberg News reported former Texas Rangers part-owner and chief executive officer Chuck Greenberg was part of a group that made a $500 million bid for the Hurricanes.