Posted at 6:12pm EST Thursday:
...(a) source told Reuters the deal collapsed because Panthers owner Alan Cohen did not want to cede control of the team, while Sports Properties was scared off by the Panthers' weak finances.
The league itself claimed the sale would not gain NHL approval since the new ownership "lacked a primary investor taking a substantial equity stake" (Miami Herald, Wednesday).
Deep doodoo indeed for an owner who is reportedly desperate to sell. This affects everything from naming a permanent general manager to free agency pickups to potential trades.
From Thomas Francis:
"We can't comment on that at this time," says Harry Zlockower, a spokesman for Sports Properties Acquisition Corp. Very well. SPAC appears to be an amorphous enterprise, and with all the other stuff that Kemp had going on -- unrelated business interests, political causes, cancer treatment, to name three -- it seems unlikely that he was deeply involved in negotiations.
No question this has been a bizarre week. Mr. Kemp's passing definitely clouds the picture, and only time will tell which direction this potential deal now heads.
From the Globe & Mail:
Sports Properties Acquisition Corp., controlled by New York financier Andrew Murstein and high-profile former U.S. politicians Mario Cuomo and Jack Kemp, is talking to the team's chairman and general partner Alan Cohen about merging with the Panthers' parent company (Sunrise Sports & Entertainment), according to sources quoted by the Sports Business Daily.
NHL sources told The Globe and Mail that Murstein, who once tried to buy the Anaheim Ducks, has been making inquiries about the Panthers for several weeks. The Sports Properties vice-chairman was trying to ascertain if the team, which has not made the NHL playoffs for nine years and narrowly missed them this year, was on the rise.
Much more to come on this today.