At least 15 groups have filed applications to buy the Ottawa Senators, NHL commissioner says
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says more than a dozen groups have filed applications to buy the Ottawa Senators, with a preliminary cut of the potential bidders expected later this month when the initial bids are submitted.
Bettman provided an update on the process to sell the Senators and Canadian Tire Centre ahead of Saturday’s NHL All-Star Game in Florida.
“There are 15 or more people or groups of people who have filed applications, the data room was open and my guess is at some point in the next few weeks or so there will be a preliminary cut based on preliminary bids,” Bettman said.
The board of directors for Senators Sports and Entertainment announced in November it was initiating the process for selling the club, retaining New York-based bank Galatioto Sports Partners to oversee the sale.
Galatioto Sports Partners opened a due-diligence website last month, allowing bidders that signed a non-disclosure agreement to view the Senators finances as part of the sale process.
The Senators said in November that a condition of any sale will be that the team remains in Ottawa. On Saturday, Bettman repeated that the Senators will remain in Ottawa, but the new owners will have a chance to move the team to LeBreton Flats.
“I want to be clear that whoever buys this club is doing so to keep it in Ottawa; so I say that so there is no speculation on the point,” Bettman said.
“And there may be a great opportunity to take the team downtown to LeBreton Flats which I think makes this an even more exciting opportunity to own a team in the nation’s capital.
Actor Ryan Reynolds has expressed an interest in being part of a group buying the Ottawa Senators. Other people reportedly interested in buying the club include Toronto businessman Michael Andlauer, Toronto-based brothers Jeffrey and Michael Kimel and Farm Boy co-CEO Jeff York.
The head of the National Capital Commission said last month he’s optimistic a long-term lease will be finalized with the Senators for an arena at LeBreton Flats this fall, even with the franchise up for sale.
NCC CEO Tobi Nussbaum said “conversations and the process continues” with the Senators senior management team.
Last June, the NCC announced it reached a memorandum of understanding with a consortium led by the Senators to build an arena surrounded by mixed-use development on the six-acre parcel of land west of downtown Ottawa.
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