NHL rejects Pastor’s bid to purchase Coyotes

The latest turn in the Coyotes’ ownership saga came swiftly
but not unexpectedly. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed Monday that
the league had rejected a purchase bid submitted by Darin Pastor on Friday. 

“The terms of his proposal were inconsistent with what we
had previously indicated were the minimum prerequisites of a serious and
realistic bid,” Daly wrote via email.

While Daly declined to offer more details, a source close
to the situation said one key sticking point was that Pastor’s bid financed the
deal over a 15-year period while the league expects the entire deal to be
completed within a three-to-five-year window, with the expected price still listed
between $150 million and $170 million.

On Friday, FOX Sports Arizona reported that Pastor had submitted a proposal
that was believed to include the highest total purchase price currently offered
for the team, less annual commitment from the City of Glendale to manage
Jobing.com Arena and an option to purchase the arena over a period of
time.

According to sources, the maximum amount Pastor’s group was willing to pay for
the team was about $277.5 million, while the group was asking for either $8
million annually from Glendale to manage the arena or 5 percent less than the
lowest other bid.

Two sources contended that one of the flaws of Pastor’s bid was that
it offered no cash up front, but when reached by phone Monday, Pastor
vehemently denied that account.

“That’s an absolute fabrication,” he said. “Who buys a team
with no money down? You can’t buy a cup of coffee with no money down.”

Pastor declined further comment until he had had a chance to
speak to Daly, but a source familiar with the bid said Pastor would have had approximately $42 million cash at close on his desired date of June 15. 

Pastor does not view Monday’s setback as the end
of his bidding process; the group will be reworking the numbers to see
if it can arrive at a bid that will satisfy the league, including a shorter time frame for purchase.

In the meantime, sources confirmed that Renaissance Sports
and Entertainment
, the group headed by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc, met
with the league for most of the day Saturday, with lawyers for both sides
present. The group has long been viewed as the leading candidate to purchase the team.

Additional meetings involving both parties as well the City of Glendale, which were
originally scheduled for last week to begin hammering out an arena management deal with the city, are expected to be rescheduled shortly once
more details have been ironed out.

When asked if the Gosbee/LeBlanc group is the only one still in the running, Daly said, “There continue to be a
number of groups we are talking to.”

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