NHL Board of Governors OKs sale of St. Louis Blues

The NHL Board of Governors has approved the sale of the St.

Louis Blues to a group headed by St. Louis beer distributor Tom

Stillman, the league announced Wednesday.

The sale price was not disclosed, but is believed to be about

$130 million.

The Stillman group will become the eighth owner of the Blues

since the franchise came into existence in 1966. The group is

buying the team from a group headed by Dave Checketts and his

Sports Capital Partners Worldwide.

Stillman is chairman and chief executive officer of Summit

Distributing in St. Louis and has owned a minority share in the

Blues since 2007.

Spokesmen for the Blues and the NHL declined comment beyond a

one-sentence news release from the league announcing approval of

the sale. A news conference is expected on Thursday in St. Louis

and may include NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Other members of the group have not been announced. The $130

million price is well below the $157 million that Forbes had valued

the Blues in December, which was 27th among the 30 NHL teams

according to the magazine. It is also less than the $150 million

price that the team sold for in 2006.

Stillman’s group is getting what appears to be one of the

up-and-coming teams in the NHL. After nearly a decade of struggles,

the youthful Blues had the second-best record in the Western

Conference this past season. They advanced to the second round of

the playoffs before being swept by the Los Angeles Kings in four

games in a series that ended Sunday.

Checketts announced two years ago that the team was going up for

sale. Checketts and his group owned 20 percent of the team,

Towerbrook Capital Partners owned 70 percent and Stillman 10

percent.

Checketts, whose investment company also owns Real Salt Lake of

Major League Soccer, had tried for months to put together a group

of local investors to buy out Towerbrook but couldn’t come to an

agreement.