Not just a letter of intent - it is a Binding Agreement. They have layed down $10mil in cash money. This is it (barring something really weird).
The letter of intent has been signed. Business man "Boots" Del Biaggio has stepped forward as a major part of the ownership group, but it is majority owned part by a local group of 7 investors. Major local investors include David Freeman, CEO of 36 Venture Capital LLC, and Herb Fritch, CEO of HealthSpring Inc.
The anticipated closing date for the transaction is no later than September 30, 2007.
Again - "Boots" is only a minority owner. Apparently most of the budget/team decisions will be made by a group of the 5 big share-holders. I assume more details to come on that. Supposedly there are no circumstances (under the current agreement) that would see "Boots" become a majority owner.
Sale price: $193mil.
Less than Ballsillie was going for, but more than "Boots" was offering by himself.
Apparently "less than 25%" of the deal is debt, which is supposed to be good for a sports team sale these days...
I am getting to listen to the press conference live (thanks to the firewall at work going on the fritz again). Everyone is very clearly talking about the team staying in Nashville in the mid/long-term. No word on any changes in the lease with the city yet, or very specific details on how the
Craig Leipold also just said that he is planning on turning around and buying season tickets (since he assumes he's losing his owner's suite [much laughter in the room]), and is thrilled that the team is staying in Nashville.
Article is up on NashvillePredators.com, includes full audio of the press conference.
New lead-owner is David Freeman. He is acting as the spokesman for the ownership group, etc. I would assume he is the largest shareholder. He's not much of a spokesperson. They are interviewing him on the radio right now...he's not a very good speaker. At least right now.
Confirmed: Del Biaggio will have to divest himself of his share of the Sharks. No word on what happens with his agreement with the arena in Kansas City to eventually operate a club there.