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Nashville group preparing to sign letter of intent for Predators @NHLdotcom

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The local group of businessmen bidding to buy the Predators and keep them in Nashville are close enough to finalizing their offer that a letter of intent giving the group exclusive negotiating rights could be signed Wednesday.

The businessmen working with Predators owner Craig Leipold would like to complete the purchase before the season starts in October.

Asked Tuesday if the group was close to finishing up paperwork, Herb Fritch, chief executive officer of HealthSpring Inc., and a member of the local group, said they're near the letter of intent stage.

"This is not a final purchase and sale deal. There's still a significant step to happen. It's the first significant concrete step toward getting there," Fritch said.

But he deferred questions to David Freeman, chief executive officer of 36 Venture Capital LLC, or attorney Chase Cole, who has been working with the group. Freeman wrote in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon that something might happen Wednesday.

A spokesman working with the local group said any announcement involving a letter of intent would come from the Predators. But the team did not respond immediately to telephone messages.

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