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Checkers Owner Michael Kahn Announced As Hurricanes Ownership Partner

Just more than a year ago, the Charlotte Checkers' move to the AHL and affiliation with the Carolina Hurricanes was in its infancy. Those ties just became even stronger. Michael Kahn, the Checkers' owner and governor, was announced Thursday as an ownership partner of the Hurricanes by Canes CEO Peter Karmanos Jr.

Karmanos Jr. has been actively pursuing minority partners since at least February when it was reported that he was seeking 20 to 30 investors to buy stakes of about $2 million to own a share of the Hurricanes. In late July those numbers changed, with Karmanos Jr. telling Triangle Business Journal he was pursuing 10 to 15 investors who would invest between $1 million to $5 million for a collective ownership stake of 20 to 25 percent of the club.

Kahn, who spoke to Canes Country in February 2010 when it was announced he was buying the AHL's Albany franchise and relocating it to Charlotte to replace the same-named ECHL Checkers with an American Hockey League affiliate, is the first investor, though there is no word yet as to how much his investment is or what his stake in the team will be.

The release from the Hurricanes is after the jump.

Charlotte Checkers owner becomes an investor in Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC – Peter Karmanos Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Owner and Governor of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced Michael Kahn as a partner in the ownership of the Hurricanes. Kahn is the Owner and Governor of Carolina’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

"Both organizations, the Hurricanes and the Checkers, are heavily committed to the growth of hockey in the Carolinas," Kahn said. "Investing in the Hurricanes not only solidifies my support for Mr. Karmanos and his vision for the sport in the South, but also my support and belief in the growth of the game. The Hurricanes are a top notch organization led by Mr. Karmanos and Mr. Rutherford and I am extremely excited to have been afforded the opportunity to join them. I believe both organizations have very bright futures and I look forward to what is on the horizon for the Hurricanes, Checkers and the sport of hockey itself."

Born and raised in Atlanta, Kahn has been involved in a family-owned wine and spirits business all of his life. He is the chief operating officer of Empire Distributors Inc., originally founded by his grandfather in 1940. Kahn, who has been nominated as Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year, currently resides in Charlotte with his wife, Wendy, and three sons.