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Co-owner Len Barrie's resort deal no risk to Tampa Bay Lightning, Siraj Capital official says

The planned sale of parts of Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa — the property owned in Victoria, British Columbia, by Lightning co-owner Len Barrie — does not put the team at risk, an official with Siraj Capital said.

"Not at all," general counsel Jonathan Strum said Tuesday. "We're looking for assets that grow. We're not looking to hockey. From a financial perspective, hockey is out of it.

"Maybe the investors can get some hats or a jersey or two at the closing."

Siraj Capital, a merchant investment firm in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will act like an investment bank in the sale of $350 million of bonds that will back the sale, raising money from various sources around the world, including banks, pension funds and other investment authorities.

Siraj Capital might buy into Bear Mountain, Strum said, but, generally, "We're not an underwriting group. We're not going to fund the $350 million. … We're going to raise it."

The sold assets will be consolidated and owned by what Strum called a "special purpose company." If the investment falters and Bear Mountain or Barrie goes into bankruptcy, only those assets can be sold to recoup some of the investment.

In other words, Strum said, Barrie's ownership share of the Lightning "has nothing to do with it."

Not that Barrie's involvement with the team was overlooked, even in the Middle East.

"The fact that he's a sports owner is exciting," Strum said. "Not a lot of folks are following pro hockey in the desert, but there is a certain cachet to being a professional sports owner."

And he can get hats.

Blackhawks: General manager Dale Tallon, 58, was ousted. The decision came after the NHL Players Association filed a grievance when the team missed a deadline for sending qualifying offers to restricted free agents. Team president John McDonough said the mistake was not all Tallon's fault. But asked if the move to replace Tallon would have been made if not for the mix-up, McDonough said: "Probably not." Assistant GM Stan Bowman, 36, son of legendary NHL coach Scotty Bowman, replaced Tallon, who accepted a two-year extension to remain as an adviser.

Hurricanes: Right wing Tom Kostopoulos, who played with the Canadiens last year, agreed to a three-year deal worth more than $2.7 million.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Co-owner Len Barrie's resort deal no risk to Tampa Bay Lightning, Siraj Capital official says 07/14/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 6:58am]
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