The Dallas Stars just had all of their debt bought out and the team take over by Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi. Could the New Jersey Devils be the next franchise to be saved from a knight in expensive armor?
The financial situation of the Devils has been well chronicaled of late. Majority owner Jff Vanderbeek has himself a mountain of money that he owes and co-owner Tom Chamgers wants out of his 47 percent stake of the team. Vanderbeek has been working on restructuring the loans and if he can get $80 million from a television rights deal, it could clear the way for Vanderbeek to keep the team.
If not, there is a pretty good backup plan ready to catch the team if they should fall. According to the New York Post, local bilionaire Nelson Peltz -- the owner of Wendy's -- would love to buy the team out of debt and take over the show. From the Post:
Billionaire investor and hockey enthusiast Nelson Peltz is weighing a plan to buy the $250 million in debt of the troubled New Jersey Devils, a source close to the situation told The Post.
The plan being discussed by Peltz, whose Triarc Companies owns Wendy’s, includes lining up an equity investor to buy the money-losing NHL team should the current team owners fail in their talks with lenders to restructure the debt, according to one person who has spoken with Peltz about the plan in recent weeks.
Peltz, who was said to be interested in buying the New York Islanders last December, is seeking a partner to provide perhaps $50 million in equity in a purchase of the team in a prepackaged bankruptcy.
The report goes on to say that while the NHL is not working with Peltz in this situation, he has already been given approval by the NHL. Of course, that's all dependent on what Vanderbeek does. If he is able to restructure the loans and satisfy the investors, then Peltz will be left out.
Talk about a hockey enthusiast. Peltz's son was drafted by the Senators in 2009. What's more, Peltz actually has an enclosed ice rink in his estate -- zamboni included, of course . I'd have to imagine a lot of Devils fans would be hoping for a purchase by Peltz in this case, I know I would be.