BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The NHL’s board of governors is voting on the sale of the Buffalo Sabres to Terry Pegula, putting the Pennsylvania billionaire in a position to have control of the franchise by next week.
Without providing an exact timeline, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday that “everything’s on schedule,” and that he expects the sale to be completed “rather soon.”
A person familiar with the sale process told The Associated Press that the league’s approval could come as early as Friday, and that Pegula would then close on the $189 million transaction by Tuesday or Wednesday.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the NHL has not announced an official timetable.
Bettman declined to provide a deadline on when the board of governors’ vote would be completed, but is confident the transaction will be approved. He said the governors are voting by fax, which is allowed under league bylaws because their next meeting is not scheduled until June.
“It’s probably going to happen rather soon since it carries the recommendation of the executive committee,” Bettman said. “Nobody in Buffalo needs to worry about the future of this franchise. It will be in good hands as it has been.”
Pegula has ties to western New York as his wife, Kim, is from Rochester, and they previously lived in Orchard Park, a Buffalo suburb, and Olean, a 90-minute drive south of the city. As part of the deal, Pegula has committed to keeping the franchise in Buffalo.
He is the founder and former president of the energy company East Resources Inc., a major player in Pennsylvania’s burgeoning natural gas industry that was sold to Royal Dutch Shell PLC for $4.7 billion last year.
In September, the Pegulas made the largest private gift in Penn State history, donating $88 million to fund a new multipurpose arena and help upgrade the men’s hockey program. The Nittany Lions will make the move to Division I hockey in the 2012-13 season.
Pegula, 59, is a Penn State graduate and has an estimated worth of $3 billion. He was most recently ranked 110th on Forbes magazine’s list of wealthiest Americans.View Entire Story
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