Team’s remaining shareholders agree to tycoon’s $200M offer
The investors behind the Edmonton Oilers have sold the team to pharmacy tycoon Daryl Katz and now it’s up to the local billionaire to sell himself to the city.
Terry Bean, who represented his father’s shares during eight months of negotiations, believes Katz has Edmonton and the team’s best interests at heart after the billionaire convinced all Oilers shareholders to pass him the puck as the next generation in Oilers ownership.
"Before I talked to him I was concerned, but after speaking with him and discussing a location agreement and things like that I was comfortable with selling to him," he said.
The financial tug-of-war with current investors ended yesterday when even longtime holdouts handed over their shares to Katz at roughly $22,000 a piece.
Katz, 46, had continually sweetened the pot since his first offer, finally settling on a purchase price of $200 million that stifled any chance of a rival bid for the team’s 7,492 shares.
"I want what is best for the team, the community and the city," Katz said in a release, issued last night. "I want to help secure a world-class building and continue the EIG’s legacy by bringing the Cup back to Edmonton."
Katz is also promising to create an advisory board that will represent community interests between the fans and the Oilers.
Since June, Katz has declined interview requests and attempted to keep his dealings with the Oilers fairly quiet.
But in a city that lives and dies by the playoffs hopes of the hockey franchise, will the local billionaire be able to maintain the low profile he so unwaveringly prefers?
"I don’t expect it will change a whole lot," says lawyer Doug Goss, a longtime friend of Katz. "He’s first and foremost a family guy and he wants to stay out of the spotlight."
Katz owns the Rexall chain of pharmacies as Edmonton’s richest person. He’s amassed a personal fortune estimated at nearly $2 billion since 1990.
He is scheduled to speak with the media for the first time today during an afternoon conference call.