Report: Senators could have agreement in principal with new ownership group in coming days
The Ottawa Senators could have an agreement in principle with a new ownership group within the coming days, according to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia.
Garrioch reported that there were four bids for the team submitted, including one estimated at $1 billion.
Those four bidders include groups led by Steve Apostolopoulos, Michael Andlauer, Neko Sparks and Jeffrey and Michael Kimel. The deadline to submit bids for the franchise was on Monday, May 15, at 5pm ET / 2pm PT.
Apostolopoulos, founder of the private equity firm Six Ventures Inc., was reported to have joined a group led by Windsor-based construction/land developer and Oshawa Generals owner Rocco Tullio to help back his bid for the NHL franchise.
Apostolopoulos recently lost out on a bid for the Washing Commanders NFL franchise, and was also rumoured to be interested in the Charlotte Hornets' NBA franchise.
Andlauer, who owns a minority share of the Montreal Canadiens and is a member of the NHL’s board of governors, has been in this process since the start and stepped up to the table.
If Andlauer, 57, is successful, he’ll have to sell his 10 per cent share in the Habs. The belief is he’s held talks with André Desmarais, the president and CEO of the Montreal-based PowerCorp. Andlauer has put together a group of investors, but would have controlling interest.
The Kimel brothers of the Toronto-based Harlo Financial Group also entered a bid. They are former minority owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins and attempted to buy the club outright before it sold to the Fenway Sports Group for $875 million in 2021. They were rumoured to have brought in Toronto native and R&B star The Weeknd as a partner for their group.
Sparks entered the talks late, and his group includes rapper Snoop Dogg. He reportedly has the backing of British businessmen David and Simon Reuben.
There are still a few more factors to iron out, Garrioch reports. Senators ownership could try to marry some of the bids together to create a wider ownership group if no single bidder stands out. There is also the decision of whether the new ownership group wants to build a new arena in downtown Ottawa, as had been suggested earlier.
The Senators missed the playoffs this season after an overhaul of the roster, and have not played a Stanley Cup playoffs game since losing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2016-17 season.