Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail is reporting that twice-spurned National Hockey League suitor Jim Balsillie is once again making a play for the Nashville Predators.
Balsillie, the former co-chairman of Blackberry maker Research In Motion, had been in line last year to buy the Predators from former owner Craig Leipold. That deal fell through, however, when Balsillie angered many in the NHL, including Leipold, for making overt plans to move the team to Canada. He had a similar situation occur in 2006 when he attempted to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The end result of Balsillie's actions bought time for a group of local investors led by businessman David Freeman to put together a deal to purchase the team. Among their investment group was another NHL suitor, William "Boots" Del Biaggio of California.
Del Biaggio ran into trouble this past June and filed for bankruptcy after a series of questionable business deals and loans were discovered. His ownership of the Predators is listed as his biggest asset.
With Del Biaggio now having to unload his stake in the team, the current ownership group has stated that it will look to acquire his shares. The Globe and Mail is reporting now that Balsillie is still in the picture and is attempting to buy Del Biaggio's shares from the bankruptcy trustee.
The caveat of this is that Balsillie's team has and will argue that Del Biaggio's share includes an agreement that he could move the team after so many years and buy out the other investors. Herb Fritch, a Predators minority owner and CEO of HealthSpring, told the Canadian paper that there are two barriers Balsillie will face.
"Balsillie's bid would have to be approved first by the rest of the Predators' owners, and then by the NHL's board of governors."
Here is a link to the Globe and Mail article.