Skip to main content

Nashville owners reach deal to buy jailed financier's shares in bankruptcy court

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Predators have a deal to buy the 26 per cent stake in the team held by the bankrupt estate of a California financier jailed for fraud.

The team's owners announced Wednesday a signed agreement with a federal trustee to buy the shares of William (Boots) Del Biaggio III. The owners will pay only US$15.2 million for his shares, which are valued at $25 million but are tied up in bankruptcy court.

The deal is expected to be approved by the court and the NHL in August.

"This is a significant step forward to strengthen our franchise's financial position," said Tom Cigarran, chairman of the ownership group, Predators Holdings LLC.

He said they worked with trustee Todd Neilson to reach what Cigarran called "reasonable terms." The Predators' owners had to drop claims for damages against Del Biaggio's estate. Warren Woo, originally part of Del Biaggio's Forecheck Investments, LLC, will continue to be a minority owner and the only one not from Tennessee.

"This transaction eliminates a significant future liability and allows the Predators to move forward," Cigarran said.

Del Biaggio was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for fraud last year after bilking investors and banks out of millions to fund his stake in the Predators. The former San Jose Sharks' minority owner joined Tennessee investors in buying the Predators for $193 million in 2007 from original owner Craig Leipold.

He went from a high roller who counted hockey great Mario Lemieux as a golfing buddy to pleading guilty to one charge of forging financial documents to obtain $110 million in loans from several banks and two NHL owners—Leipold now of the Minnesota Wild and Los Angeles Kings owner AEG. Del Biaggio used that money to buy his interest in the Predators.


Patrick Kane

Should The Buffalo Sabres Pursue Patrick Kane?

With Patrick Kane in the final season of his contract, there's growing speculation whether he'll stay with the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks or go elsewhere. Some wonder if he could go to his hometown team.

2022 World Juniors

For World Junior Players, It's Business as Usual in an Unusual Situation

The August World Junior Championship won't get the love and fanfare it typically does, but for the participants, it's still the same event, and they're going to put everything on the line for gold like they would have done any other year.

Hockey Canada

Hockey Canada Appoints Andrea Skinner as Interim Chair of the Board

Hockey Canada has named Andrea Skinner as the new Interim Chair of the Board days after the former Chair's resignation.