The NHL’s board of governors approved the group’s purchase of the remaining 50 per cent of the team and GM Place from Seattle businessman John McCaw. The Aquilini group, owned by Vancouver businessmen Francesco, Roberto and Paolo Aquilini, bought the first 50 per cent of the team and the arena in November 2004.
“When our partnership was first formed (with McCaw) we both knew 100 per cent local ownership was always a possibility because it made sense,” Francesco Aquilini said on Nov. 9th, the day after the deal to buy out McCaw was announced.
“We will now have a complete local focus with a made-in-Vancouver vision, brand and set of priorities. This is more than just a business transaction. We as a family are proud to be stewards of our province’s hockey team.”
McCaw bought into the Canucks in 1994. He became the team’s majority owner in November of 1996.
The Aquilini group was founded almost 50 years ago by Luigi Aquilini, Francesco’s father. The company now has a real estate portfolio that includes commercial and residential property, hotels and golf courses. It also has significant agricultural holdings.