New investor-led group pursuing Coyotes deal

The Pastor family has a history of saving hockey franchises. In the
1950s, there was talk of moving the American Hockey League’s Buffalo
Bison to another city before Ruby, Al and Sam Pastor stepped in to
purchase the team
and keep it in Buffalo to post Calder Cup
championships in 1963 and 1970 as well as runners-up finishes in 1955,
1959 and 1962.

“Hockey’s been in the family for about
three generations,” said Sam’s grandson, Darin Pastor, “ever since my
grandfather and his two brothers kept the team where it
belonged.”

If you’re not familiar with Darin Pastor,
you’re not alone. Until recently, the NHL, the Coyotes and their
respective ownership suitors hadn’t heard of the Buffalo-area native.
But through a mass press release to multiple media outlets from his PR
firm, KCD Public Relations, the 42-year-old Pastor threw his hat in the
ring Friday in a bid to buy the long-ownerless Phoenix
franchise.

Pastor is the founder and CEO of Irvine,
Calif.-based Capstone Affluent Strategies, which has offices in 11
markets and provides wealth management through asset management,
retirement and estate planning.

Capstone Affluent
Strategies began when six advisers left Prudential Securities with about
$450 million in assets in October of 2012 to join LPL Financial.
Capstone’s LPL connection could be significant since LPL is the largest
organization of independent financial advisers in the U.S., with roughly
$353 billion in advisory and brokerage
assets.

Pastor was ranked as the top-producing senior
investment manager in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and has also served as
managing director of Prudential Insurance Company of America and senior
vice president and senior investment manager at JPMorgan Chase &
Co. He described his current group of Coyotes investors as “talented
municipal financing veterans,” which he thinks could be a plus in
negotiating an arena lease agreement with the City of
Glendale.

Pastor said he first decided to pursue the
club about six months ago but wanted to make sure he could secure the
financing — “dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s” — before moving
forward.

“I’ve been watching this play out, and it
seemed like some really good people had been involved trying to get this
deal done,” he said. “It’s a great franchise and they’ve done very well
— especially last year. It would be a shame to push a western team off
to the east. Phoenix is a great metropolitan area, a great market, but
this franchise has been bruised and battered.

“Hopefully, we can work with all these different
interests and make this happen.”

Pastor first
approached Coyotes president and COO Mike Nealy about the sale, but he
intends to “reach out simultaneously to the NHL and Glendale on
Monday.”

Pastor’s group is the second new group to
come forward this week, following the news that Ice Edge Holdings
founder Anthony LeBlanc had joined forces with AltaCorp Capital chairman
and CEO George Gosbee in a bid to buy the
team.

Pastor said his intent is to keep the team in
Glendale, adding, “this is a long-term commitment.” At the same time,
when asked if there would be an out clause in the deal that would allow
the team to relocate at some point if it couldn’t right its financial
ship, he acknowledged, “You have to protect your long-term interests. I
think we have to kind of roll up our sleeves and participate before I
can answer that more directly, but you have to keep your options
open.”

Pastor declined to name any of the investors
with whom he’s working, but he did say none has been involved in prior
attempts to purchase the franchise.

He has seen the
Coyotes play numerous times, most recently in their two-game series in
Los Angeles last week at Staples Center.

“The product
is good now with some great players, some great front-office people and
a great coach,” he said. “They fight every game like it’s a playoff
match. It’s a testament to the people in the organization that they’ve
been able to create such a quality product under so much
strain.”

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