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Nothing would surprise in sale saga



Oren Koules apparently will keep on fighting.

Lightning CEO Tom Wilson and president Ron Campbell both said the Hollywood producer and would-be Lightning owner still wants to buy the team. Campbell even said he expects Koules to "hunker down and try to get it done.''

That job got more difficult when Koules lost up to $110-million in financing when France's second-largest bank, Societe Generale, closed its U.S. sports lending business. But it would be foolish to believe there was not a backup source of financing just in case of such calamities.

But even if Koules is able to quickly get backup financing together (say, this week) and announces a purchase agreement (and the way this sale story has been going, nothing would be a surprise), the timetable for closing the deal could still take us into the summer; though if an announcement came, say, this week, that could be accelerated.

First approval must be granted by the league, which should not be a problem, and then the financial deal must close.

Whatever happens, it's been quite a ride from the August announcement that Absolute Hockey Enterprises was to buy the team, to its default on financial obligations, to the lawsuit between partners, to commissioner Gary Bettman's intervention; to Koules forming OK Hockey and the meltdown of a French bank.

As some of the players have said, "Just tell me when it's over.''


[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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