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The Devils Minority partners are looking to sell their share.


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#161 ChilltownDevs2673

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:49 PM

Devils co-owner Michael Gilfillan looking to sell stake in team
Published: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 9:05 PM Updated: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 10:43 PM
By Star-Ledger Staff

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Owner Jeff Vanderbeek will still maintain his stake in the Devils.
By David Giambusso and Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger

New Jersey Devils co-owner Michael Gilfillan, a minority partner in the franchise for more than a decade and a key figure in the development of the Prudential Center, is looking to sell his stake in the team.

Devils principal owner Jeff Vanderbeek confirmed in a statement today that Gilfillan, president of Brick City Hockey, had retained Baltimore investment bank Moag & Co. to explore the sale of his share. Brick City is controlled by Gilfillan and his father-in-law, philanthropist Raymond Chambers.

"My partner, Brick City, and I have different visions for the franchise," Vanderbeek said in the statement. "While Brick City has a right, under our partnership agreement, to explore a sale and Moag & Co. has been retained to assist in these efforts, I anticipate maintaining a controlling interest."

Vanderbeek, a former Lehman Brothers executive who took control of the Devils in 2004, owns 50 percent of the team. It wasn’t immediately clear how a sale of Gilfillan’s minority interest would affect the club, which has played at the Prudential Center since the Newark arena opened in 2007.

Vanderbeek’s brief statement did not elaborate on his differences with Gilfillan, and the principal owner declined further comment.

In his own statement, Gilfillan said Brick City had achieved its goal of using sports as a catalyst for economic development in Newark, with the arena drawing visitors not just for hockey, but for concerts and other shows.

"The arena and the teams playing here have also attracted more people to come back to the city in an ongoing effort to restore pride, sports, arts, culture and business to this beautiful city," Gilfillan said.

According to two people with knowledge of the situation, Gilfillan and Chambers don’t want to invest millions of dollars more into the franchise, which is building two high-end restaurants in the arena and contributing to the development of a nearby hotel.

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not publicly authorized to discuss the matter.

The partnership paid $125 million for the Devils in 2004. Late last year, Forbes magazine estimated the team’s value at $218 million, making it the 11th most valuable franchise in the National Hockey League.

Both the magazine and Vanderbeek have said the team is profitable, though attendance, never a strong point, has sagged even more this year as the Devils struggle through a miserable season, with the worst record in the league. Before this season, the team enjoyed tremendous success on the ice, winning the Stanley Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003 and making the playoffs 13 consecutive times.

For most of that run, the team played in the Meadowlands stadium.

The potential sale of Gilfillan’s interest in the team remains in the early stages. Moag & Co., which specializes in sports transactions, sent out a letter to prospective investors on Jan. 25.

Vanderbeek issued his statement in response to a Bloomberg News report, which said he was putting the team up for sale himself.

Since taking control of the Devils, Vanderbeek has been the face of the franchise, pushing hard and publicly for the Newark arena. Gilfillan has been more apt to remain in the background, but he’s also played an important role.

A former co-chair of YankeeNets, Gilfillan has been on the board of directors of Puck Holdings, the entity that controls the Devils, since 2000. He also worked to bring an arena to Newark since 1998.

With the potential sale, the Devils join a growing number of NHL franchises in flux. At least eight other teams are up for sale or are seeking minority investors. In the latest case, the owners of the Buffalo Sabres announced yesterday that they had sold the team.

Staff writers Rich Chere, Ted Sherman and Eliot Caroom contributed to this story.

http://www.nj.com/de...ael_gilfil.html
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#162 newarkdev01

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:50 PM

Dammit post went up first...none the less this is the sort of news I actually did want to see. I am tired of these projects languishing.

Edited by newarkdev01, 01 February 2011 - 10:52 PM.

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#163 maxpower

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:14 PM

well, they're definitely going to languish now with this in limbo. Globe and Mail in Toronto threw around a $600M+ number. I don't see how JVB can buy himself back in at that number.

Chambers comes across as a sleazebag here. he made a living borrowing money and running pump and dumps buying businesses. this must have been another case in his eyes.
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#164 ThreeCups

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:29 PM

well, they're definitely going to languish now with this in limbo. Globe and Mail in Toronto threw around a $600M+ number. I don't see how JVB can buy himself back in at that number.

Chambers comes across as a sleazebag here. he made a living borrowing money and running pump and dumps buying businesses. this must have been another case in his eyes.



What do you mean by "I don't see how JVB can buy himself back in at that number"? His half isn't being sold....
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#165 MadDog2020

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:33 PM

What do you mean by "I don't see how JVB can buy himself back in at that number"? His half isn't being sold....

What Max is referring to is the apparent contractual stipulation that allows Gilfillan and Chambers to explore a full sale of the team and the arena to the highest bidder. Meaning VBK would have to buy the team and arena back. Which won't happen for $600 mil.
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#166 maxpower

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:37 PM

What Max is referring to is the apparent contractual stipulation that allows Gilfillan and Chambers to explore a full sale of the team and the arena to the highest bidder. Meaning VBK would have to buy the team and arena back. Which won't happen for $600 mil.


yeah, you play a shell game here. but the problem is that JVB is going to need partners to complete the sale. and one of his primary partners is organizing the sale. so he needs a new one. and to make things worse, the arena gets in on the sale, putting the value of the sale through the roof. the Devils aren't worth as much without the arena, that unwinding could be done.

so, if he can organize 75% of the sale price, that's not enough. seeya. I mean, don't cry for him, he walks away with a truckload of money in that case, but his dreams of operating an arena and sucking all of that revenue out, they go bye-bye. I would guess he's far more pissed abou the arena than the Devils. I always figured he would get out of the Devils business at some point. Looks like he got beaten to the punch.
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#167 ThreeCups

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:38 PM

What Max is referring to is the apparent contractual stipulation that allows Gilfillan and Chambers to explore a full sale of the team and the arena to the highest bidder. Meaning VBK would have to buy the team and arena back. Which won't happen for $600 mil.



I just read the full details somewhere. What kind of crazy stipulation is this?!? Well, if VBK is 50% owner and the team is sold...can't he just buy back in for what he would have been owed from the sale?!?
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#168 Triumph

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:38 PM

What Max is referring to is the apparent contractual stipulation that allows Gilfillan and Chambers to explore a full sale of the team and the arena to the highest bidder. Meaning VBK would have to buy the team and arena back. Which won't happen for $600 mil.


I don't see who's buying in at that number, anywhere, though. The fact that both parties have at least agreed on a third party to help find buyers is a good sign.
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#169 newarkdev01

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:39 PM

well, they're definitely going to languish now with this in limbo. Globe and Mail in Toronto threw around a $600M+ number. I don't see how JVB can buy himself back in at that number.

Chambers comes across as a sleazebag here. he made a living borrowing money and running pump and dumps buying businesses. this must have been another case in his eyes.


I'm loosing your logic here on this one in regards to JVB, he doesn't need to buy anything. The company goes for sale and he owns a majority state if anything as long as the buyer is willing to pay top dollar, he actually makes out as his share is worth more.
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#170 ThreeCups

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:41 PM

yeah, you play a shell game here. but the problem is that JVB is going to need partners to complete the sale. and one of his primary partners is organizing the sale. so he needs a new one. and to make things worse, the arena gets in on the sale, putting the value of the sale through the roof. the Devils aren't worth as much without the arena, that unwinding could be done.

so, if he can organize 75% of the sale price, that's not enough. seeya. I mean, don't cry for him, he walks away with a truckload of money in that case, but his dreams of operating an arena and sucking all of that revenue out, they go bye-bye. I would guess he's far more pissed abou the arena than the Devils. I always figured he would get out of the Devils business at some point. Looks like he got beaten to the punch.



Damn, this all seems like it is headed for a courtroom near you!

I am pretty confident that we have seen Zach play his last game in a Devils jersey. This debacle is going to be the KO blow to our chances of resigning him.....
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#171 MadDog2020

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:43 PM

I don't see who's buying in at that number, anywhere, though. The fact that both parties have at least agreed on a third party to help find buyers is a good sign.

This is true, but there could be some nutjob out there with a lot of fvck you money that wants to own a pro sports team so he can brag to his friends (think Mark Cuban). I mean, that number is ridiculous, but all I'm saying is nothing surprises me anymore.
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#172 NJDevs4978

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:48 PM

I'm beside myself right now...two of my franchises (Devils and Mets) up for sale in a week's time. What are the odds of that?! And both ownership groups lying and withholding info from the fans. This one came even more out of left field than the Met nonsense.
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#173 MadDog2020

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:51 PM

I'm beside myself right now...two of my franchises (Devils and Mets) up for sale in a week's time. What are the odds of that?! And both ownership groups lying and withholding info from the fans. This one came even more out of left field than the Met nonsense.

I hear ya, its been a rough go of it for me too. Remember that Steve Ross owns my football team.
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#174 maxpower

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:52 PM

I'm loosing your logic here on this one in regards to JVB, he doesn't need to buy anything. The company goes for sale and he owns a majority state if anything as long as the buyer is willing to pay top dollar, he actually makes out as his share is worth more.


he has to re-buy his portion. like I said, a shell game. but if he doesn't have the partnership to obtain 100% of the money to make the bid, he either needs to add in more of his own money or accept the golden parachute. like I said, don't feel bad for him. I'm just freaking annoyed because there is no way this can be a positive for the team. worst case is Atlanta/TB/Chicago mess that wrecks the franchise, semi-worst case is some Golisano type who runs the team as a break even, while they reap the arena benefits.

his 50% does him jack sh!t here, if the way the sale is being approached is true. he needs to go find another 50%. so, even with the other investors in, including Lou, you have to cover the gap left by this flip scam by Chambers and his son in law.

IMO, the arena is extremely valuable because it's almost as if they own it without all of the problems of ownership. sh!t, they don't even pay rent. :lol: and AEG is gone. and bookings are up.
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#175 maxpower

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:56 PM

oh yeah, and no matter what they tell you, it was built with state money. so that makes it even more hilarious.
only in Jersey can you build something that is 2/3rds subsidized by the state, that ends up having a powerless authority "owning" it, and then flip it for HUGE PROFITS!

lol. I guess it's small fry compared to Xanadu, a $200M ripoff instead of a $1B ripoff.
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#176 RowdyFan42

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:57 PM

Part of a comment on TG's latest blog post about this:

It will come down to the partnership agreement what the defition of “is” is.

Brick City may have the right to force the sale of the “whole” team but it is just a play to determine what the “whole” value of the team is so Brick city can get paid it’s % of ownership. All the while JVB will retain his 50% share, and other partners theirs.


I realize the commenter is just speculating like the rest of us, but his analysis makes sense to me.

Edited by RowdyFan42, 01 February 2011 - 11:58 PM.

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#177 maxpower

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:02 AM

and who's paying them that? do you think Lou, for example, can buy them out?
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#178 maxpower

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:04 AM

let's say the whole thing gets valued out at $400M for easy math sake. and they own, say 25%. the other owners have to scoop up $100M to hand to them to buy out their share and conduct it that way, or find $100M worth of partners.

I'm not so sure this is that easy. it's easier for one or two outside people to stagger up with a $400M moneybag and take all the spoils for themselves, then to come in as a quarter partner with no controlling interest.
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#179 Triumph

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:22 AM

let's say the whole thing gets valued out at $400M for easy math sake. and they own, say 25%. the other owners have to scoop up $100M to hand to them to buy out their share and conduct it that way, or find $100M worth of partners.

I'm not so sure this is that easy. it's easier for one or two outside people to stagger up with a $400M moneybag and take all the spoils for themselves, then to come in as a quarter partner with no controlling interest.


yeah but again it seems that vanderbeek has no interest in the latter scenario - he wants to retain the controlling interest. i agree that finding partners won't be easy, but he'll have to.

i am getting a bud fox gordon gekko vibe from this whole thing - gilfillan's gonna sell brian rolston to mexico, they're the only ones dumb enough to buy him.

Edited by Triumph, 02 February 2011 - 12:23 AM.

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#180 hurricane1091

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 12:23 AM

I have a hard time believing that the majority owner could be no longer be the majority owner because the minority owner sold the team. Think about it, that makes no sense. I fail to see how the minority owner wanting out could force the sale of the entire team. You can't force JVB to give up his 50% share, there is no way. And I doubt he has to find partners as well. If Brick City wants to sell their share, it is their job to sell it, not Jeff's.

Edited by hurricane1091, 02 February 2011 - 12:23 AM.

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