Preds deal moves toward close

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 2:14am

It’s not surprising that the local group didn’t close the purchase of the Nashville Predators yesterday or Friday as it had hoped.

Few people thought the local group was going to pull it off so quickly. After all, there are a lot of little details to work out on a $112-million loan and a lot of paperwork.

Sources said the lender has valued the team at $225 million and would loan 50 percent of that value. The local group is paying $193 million.

The closing, which is expected any day now, actually would be the first of two for the group involving the team, sources said.

They said the lender initially would lend about 60 to 75 percent with current owner Craig Leipold carrying the note on the remainder.

Banks like to see cash flow and how it all works before going all the way, and it is likely that the new lease on the Sommet Center has a lot of elements that will have an impact on the team’s cash flow. Before the lender pulls the trigger on the rest of the loan, Metro Council and the Metro Sports Authority must finish putting their fingerprints on the deal as well.

Assuming Metro Council and the Sports Authority do not hold up the deal or nix it altogether with their own demands, the lender would close the loan on the rest of funds and take Leipold completely out of it.

It is unclear what would happen if it all went haywire because of Council or Authority meddling in a deal already negotiated by city attorneys and Mayor Karl Dean’s staff. But few involved believe that Council or Authority will impose changes that would force negotiations to start over with the city.

The buyers crossed a major hurdle last Thursday when the NHL’s Board of Governors approved the new owners. That same evening, Metro Council took its first collective crack at the proposal at an informational meeting.

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By: imdyinhere on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Isn't $225 million a little bit much for an outfit that lost its previous owner several million per year?

By: nashbeck on 12/31/69 at 6:00

not really. Owning a sports franchise is never a money-making business until the owner actually sells the team. People think Leipold has lost 70 million, but if this sale is finalized, Leipold will be 30 million richer. GO PREDATORS AND TITANS!!!

By: dnewton on 12/31/69 at 6:00

Maybe we could get the roof of the new convention center converted to a skating rink for exhibition games for the tourists? I heard that being from out of town makes you vulnerable to any scheme.