Purchase Agreement Close
Multiple sources confirm a purchase agreement to sell the Blues to Chicago businessman Matt Hulsizer could be signed and announced any day now.
I’m told significant progress has been made over the last week which has led us to where we are today.
Sources with firsthand knowledge related to the sale tell me “Checketts is eager to make a deal”.
Several days ago it was reported a verbal agreement between the two parties had been reached. Sources close to Hulsizer downplayed the report saying a verbal agreement means nothing.
While a verbal had been reached Hulsizer was apparently caught off guard and “stunned” by the news getting out. As I mentioned before, Hulsizer has chosen to remain quiet until the sale is closed. Much of this has to do with his unsuccessful attempt to buy the Phoenix Coyotes as he doesn't want to be labeled as a tire kicker.
A purchase agreement would certainly open the door for the deal to close although a timetable remains unclear.
From my October 5th article….
"Hulsizer can move fast and has the ability to close a complicated transaction like this very quickly. Because of his Phoenix involvement Hulsizer has already bypassed two very large hurdles, one being the league and the other the financing. He’s already presented himself in front of the NHL executive committee"
Sources confirm an additional group including multiple local individuals made a last ditch effort to negotiate a deal with Checketts as recent as this week. Word is Checketts informed the group he is close to signing a purchase agreement with another buyer. That individual is believed to be Hulsizer.
Current Minority Owner Tom Stillman, who holds a 17% stake in the Blues was not part of this group.
Sources say the sale price (including the opera House) will be in the neighborhood of $185 million. How much cash Hulsizer is bringing to the table and what the capital structure looks like remains foggy. Often these announced numbers can be higher than the actual transaction.
TowerBrook Capital and Checketts are expected to remain with the organization in a minority role. Their main focus will be on running the Peabody Opera House and they will have “limited to no control” within the Blues organization. This is especially the case on the hockey side where Hulsizer expects to be very involved.
Word is Hulsizer is very open to bringing local partners on board once the deal is closed.
It’s important to remember there are always contingencies written in any purchase agreement and a deal is never final until it closes.
More to come,
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