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Greenberg Close To Buying Hurricanes For $500M, Team Will Stay In North Carolina

Greenberg Close To Buying Hurricanes For $500M, Team Will Stay In North Carolina

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Karmanos has owned the team since '94, when it was the Hartford Whalers
Former MLB Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg is "close to completing an agreement to buy" the Hurricanes from Owner Peter Karmanos for about $500M, according to sources cited by Scott Soshnick of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Sources said that the team will "stay in North Carolina" and Greenberg will "seek to add local investors to the ownership group." He plans to "split his time between Raleigh and Dallas." The price tag is "roughly the same as what Bill Foley recently paid" to land the expansion Golden Knights. Investment bank Allen & Co. has been "overseeing the sale process for the team." Karmanos -- who has owned the team since '94, when it was the Hartford Whalers -- said in January that he was "open to selling the franchise." Greenberg in '11 "sold his stake in the Rangers," though he "still owns a trio of minor-league baseball franchises" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/13). Hurricanes President Don Waddell on Thursday confirmed the team is "staying in Raleigh" if the sale is completed. However, he "could not comment on the proposed price or potential ownership group or how long the process could last." In Raleigh, Chip Alexander notes Hurricanes Holdings LLC is "made up of 18 investment groups," with individual investors including Hurricanes Exec VP & GM Ron Francis and AHL Charlotte Checkers Owner Michael Kahn. Though Greenberg will look for other local investors, questions "remain about other members of the potential ownership group and whether Greenberg would be a majority or minority owner, and how much assumed debt would be a part of the purchase" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 7/14). Also in Raleigh, Jeff Gravley cited sources as saying that Karmanos' partners, a "group of local investors who have a minority stake in the team, would have the option to participate in any new ownership" (WRALSPORTSFAN.com, 7/13). 

STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION: In Raleigh, Luke DeCock writes the potential sale to Greenberg "appears to be the beginning of the end for the Hurricanes’ time in ownership purgatory." The franchise has been "paralyzed ... since Karmanos lost his silent, unshakably loyal partner" in late co-Owner Thomas Thewes and while his "personal finances became increasingly strained." There are "still unanswered questions surrounding the deal," but "any momentum toward change is positive momentum." DeCock: "While this may only be the first dawning rays of a sale that may still take months to finalize, it couldn’t be more welcome" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 7/14). 

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