TBJ Report: Karmanos Now Looking For "Investor Group"

Have a couple of million dollars you don't know what to do with?  How about purchasing a small stake in your local NHL team?

According to a recent Triangle Business Journal report, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos is now looking to put together a group of between 20 to 30 investors who are willing to risk about $2 million each for a small share of the Hurricanes.

Apparently, the process is far enough along that Karmanos said an official announcement about the group could be forthcoming within the next 60 to 90 days, although the owner would not name any names.

"We're pretty far along," Karmanos was quoted as saying.

Although as author Chris Baysden points out in his article, under this scenario, Karmanos would not be selling the entire 49% stake of his former partner, Thomas Thewes, who passed away in 2008.

One possible hold up on any deal?  According to Baysden, the Hurricanes owner placed a valuation of $240 million on his team.   That's just a touch higher than the $162 million value Forbes placed on the franchise just a few short months ago. 

For the record, the NHL reportedly paid out $149 million when they saved the Phoenix franchise and at least one report has the value of the Buffalo Sabres recent sale to Terry Pegula at about $150 million, which is $19 million lower than the Forbes valuation for that club.  (Although, Tom Golisano mentioned to Buffalo news that he turned down an offer which was $70 million higher because the potential new owner wanted to move the team.)

Regardless, $240 million seems high. 

Shares of the team have been on the market now for awhile.  Perhaps the reason for the delay in getting a deal done is not so much because local millionaires have little interest regarding investing in the team, perhaps the valuation is what is scaring the big money away?

Stay tuned, we'll keep watching.

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