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Predators Holdings LLC purchases Nashville Predators, Powers Management

by Press Release / Nashville Predators
- Local ownership group takes over day-to-day operation of team, building today -

Predators Holdings LLC announced today that the group’s purchase of the Nashville Predators and Powers Management (the company that operates the Sommet Center) for $193 million from Craig Leipold has completed, and the local ownership group will immediately take over the day-to-day operation of the National Hockey League team and the Sommet Center.

“On behalf of the ownership group, we are thrilled to complete the sale,” said David Freeman, chairman of Predators Holdings LLC.  “We look forward to contributing to the Predators’ success on and off the ice and solidifying the franchise’s future in Nashville.”

The sale was approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors last Thursday. Freeman will serve the group as chairman and governor, while William “Boots” Del Biaggio and Herb Fritch serve as an alternate governor.

Predators Holdings LLC includes local executives in finance, health care and private business.  Members include: Freeman, Del Biaggio, Fritch, Christopher Cigarran, Thomas Cigarran, Joel and Holly Dobberpuhl, DeWitt Thompson V, John Thompson and Warren Woo.

“Our immediate next steps will be to provide necessary direction to the team’s staff while assessing opportunities to grow the Predators’ fan base and development,” added Freeman.

Predators Holdings LLC

Christopher C. Cigarran
Chris Cigarran is the senior vice president of human resources and organization development at Nashville’s Healthways, Inc., the nation’s leading and largest provider of comprehensive health and care support programs and services.

Prior to joining American Healthways, Cigarran spent several years as a consultant working with multiple organizations in the U.S. and Canada, including Patagonia, Citibank, Dofasco Steel and British Airways. In that role, Cigarran focused on teams in organizations, organizational culture, as well as organizational change and effectiveness.
Cigarran received his undergraduate degree from Bucknell University and his master’s degree from Pepperdine University.

Thomas G. Cigarran
Tom Cigarran is a co-founder, former CEO and current chairman of the Nashville-based Healthways, Inc., the nation’s leading and largest provider of comprehensive health and care support programs and services.  He also serves as chairman of AmSurg Corp., a single-specialty, practice-based ambulatory surgery center company.

Cigarran serves as chairman of the Alignment Nashville Operating Board, the Haiti Mission Education Committee and the advisory board of the Vanderbilt Owen School Healthcare MBA program.  He also serves as a member of the boards of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Nashville Alliance for Public Education, the Nashville Health Care Council and Harpeth Hall School.

Cigarran is a graduate of Villanova University with a Master’s degree from the New York University Graduate School of Business.

William “Boots” Del Biaggio
William “Boots” Del Biaggio III is an avid sports fan and served as a limited partner with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks from 2002-2007.  He also banded together with hockey legends Mario Lemieux, Luc Robitaille and Mike Eruzione to purchase the amateur Omaha Lancers of the United States Hockey League in 2004.

In 1996, Del Biaggio founded Sand Hill Capital, a venture finance company based in Menlo Park, Calif., and he has served as president and chief executive officer since its inception. 

A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Del Biaggio and his family reside in California.  

Joel and Holly Dobberpuhl
Joel Dobberpuhl is the CEO and portfolio manager of Jetstream Capital, a global hedge fund he founded in 2003.  Prior to founding Jetstream Capital, Dobberpuhl was a senior portfolio manager for AIM investments.

Dobberpuhl received his degree from Southern Methodist University in 1988 alongside Holly (Stone) Dobberpuhl.  Together, the Dobberpuhls are active in several charities based in the Nashville Area and have both served on the boards of Mercy Children’s Clinic and Rocketown Ministries.  Mrs. Dobberpuhl, a passionate Predators fan, also serves on the board of Saddle Up!, a therapeutic riding facility in Franklin, Tenn.

Joel, Holly, son Samuel and daughter Lily reside in Nashville.

David S. Freeman
David S. Freeman founded 36 Venture Capital in 2007 and serves as the company’s CEO. 

He was the founder and CEO of Commodore Medical Sevices, formed in 1991, which grew to be the second-largest company in the medical waste industry at the time of its sale in 2007.  He also practiced mergers and acquisition law for over 10 years in Dallas and Nashville. 

Freeman received his undergraduate degree at the University of Tennessee and a Juris Doctor degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law.  Born and raised in Knoxville, Tenn., the Freeman family resides in Nashville.

Herbert A. Fritch
Herbert A. Fritch has served as the chairman, president and chief executive officer of HealthSpring, Inc., and its predecessor, NewQuest, LLC, since it began operation in 2000.  He is also the president of Renaissance Physician Organization, a large group of independent physician associations that are contracted providers to HealthSpring’s Texas health maintenance organization, or HMO, subsidiary.

Beginning his career in 1973 as an actuary, Fritch has over 30 years of experience in the managed healthcare business. 

A graduate of Carleton College, Fritch and his wife Barbara reside in Nashville.  They are members of United Way’s Tocqueville Society and Barbara serves on the board of the Nashville Zoo and Senior Citizens Inc. organizations.

DeWitt C. Thompson V
DeWitt (De) C. Thompson V currently serves as the president of Thompson Machinery, the Caterpillar dealer for Middle and West Tennessee and North Mississippi.

Thompson founded PureWorks, Inc. in 1999 and continues to serve as the company’s chairman of the board.  He also serves as chairman of the Nashville City Paper.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Thompson, his wife Jamee, son DeWitt VI and daughters Helen and Grace reside in Nashville.

John P.G. Thompson
John P.G. Thompson has served as the marketing director of Thompson Machinery since January 2006.  He also owns and manages Thompson Properties, LLC, a company that purchases, manages and sells single-family rental real estate property.

Prior to working for Thompson Machinery, he served as an asset manager for Covenant Capital Group, LLC. 

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Thompson is active in the Nashville community.  He serves as a volunteer for preschool children with special needs, is a fundraising founder for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and a member of the Young Alumni Board of Nashville’s Montgomery Bell Academy.

Warren C. Woo
Warren C. Woo is a founding partner and managing director of Moelis &
Company, an investment banking firm.  Woo has been active in the
investment banking industry for over 20 years, having previously worked
for UBS, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Drexel Burnham Lambert.  He
earned a B.A. from UCLA and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.  Woo and his family reside in Los Angeles, CA.
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