Craig Leipold announced today that he has signed a letter of intent to sell the Nashville Predators and Powers Management (the company that manages the Sommet Center) to a group of local investors, led by David Freeman, CEO of 36 Venture Capital, and including Herb Fritch, CEO of Healthsprings, as well as William “Boots” Del Biaggio, President and CEO of SandHill Capital.
The investors, a group which would have majority and controlling interest in the club, includes local executives in finance, health care and private business. The sale price for the franchise is $193 million. The sale must be approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors. The anticipated closing date for the transaction is no later than September 30, 2007.
“I am thrilled that David Freeman and his local group have joined up with Boots Del Biaggio and come together to purchase the Predators,” Leipold said. “My hope is that their commitment to Nashville will be reciprocated in the form of business and individual support on an ongoing basis to make this franchise successful for the long-term. This is a great day for Predators fans, players and staff!”
“Six weeks ago we set out to acquire the Predators so that we could make sure our team stayed in our town. The letter of intent is a big step toward making it happen. Nashville is now firmly in the driver’s seat to keep this franchise,” said Freeman. “We are confident of moving through this process successfully and starting the 2007-08 season with local ownership in majority control of the future of the franchise. We want to thank Craig for giving us this opportunity.
“We have recruited Boots Del Biaggio to our investor team because as a limited partner in the San Jose Sharks he has strong experience and is respected by the Board of Governors,” added Freeman. “His proven success in this league is important to us.”
“Having the opportunity to join this exceptional, dedicated and committed local partnership was an opportunity that I could not turn down,” said Del Biaggio, who will assume a minority investment position. “There is no doubt in my mind that this transaction will bring proper leadership and investment to the Predators while building an organization that the NHL leadership will respect and our fans can be proud of and support.”
Mr. Leipold does not plan to comment again on the franchise sale until the transaction is completed and is approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors.Related articles: Additional notes from Wednesday's Press Conference