Friday, December 14, 2007

Katz has the Oilers in his sights.

Daryl Katz who has built the Rexall brand into one of Western Canada's most recoginzed names, is within sight of his long time goal to purchase the Edmonton Oilers.

Katz made another offer to the shareholders of the Edmonton Investment Group and by all accounts his numbers have moved enough of those shareholders over to his side of the ledger that the sale seems all but a done deal.

Cal Nichols, Founding Chairman of the Board of EIG who was advised about the offer on Thursday morning, said that it was an offer that he could enthusiastically support, reported to be in the 188 million dollar range, Katz has more than just owning the hockey team on his mind.

Included in his vision for the Oilers is a relocation to a new downtown arena that he says will revitalize the downtown area of Edmonton, a project that he says he will commit his time on in quest of the 100 million dollars required to construct the downtown arena.

On Monday, Nichols had resigned as Chairman of EIG and put his shares up on the market. A move that seems to have indicated that the fight for Katz will soon be at an end and pending EIG and NHL approval he will become the owner of the Oilers. It marks at least the fourth time that he has begun the process of trying to buy the team, finally it seems finding success in his quest.

He hopes to convince Nichols to stay on with the Oilers in order to help get the arena project off the ground and to serve as the Oilers representative on the NHL Board of Governors.

As for running the hockey team, its expected that Katz with a fair amount of capital behind him may be able to make the Oilers more competitive in the free agency market and perhaps be able to retain the young players on the way up before they end up having to head out.

The Globe and Mail--Pharmacy tycoon makes new bid for Oilers
Edmonton Sun--The Katz's meow?
Edmonton Journal--New offer

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