Dallas Stars: Chuck Greenberg

Dallas Stars sale: A timeline

November, 18, 2011
Here’s a look at some key moments in the sale of the Dallas Stars.

2005: The Stars lose $70 million in anticipated revenue due to the NHL losing the 2004-05 season due to the lockout.

Early 2009: Hicks Sports Group determines current cash flow shortfalls and those projected for 2010, 2011 and beyond require reduction in all expense categories.

March 31, 2009: HSG fails to make an interest payment on loans totaling more than $525 million, thus defaulting on the loans.

May 12, 2009: The Stars start receiving funds from an interest reserve accounts established as part of credit agreements to help fund operations. From May 2009 to January 2010, the Stars would receive $19 million from the interest reserve accounts to help fund operations.

November 9, 2009: Stars owner Tom Hicks, the NHL and the Dallas Stars enter into a letter agreement under which the NHL would oversee the sale of the Dallas Stars and its share of the American Airlines Center. The agreement provides for an NHL Monitor to oversee the operations of the team and the sale process.

January 2010: The interest reserve account is depleted. Stars begin talks with the NHL and lenders to secure additional funding.

February 1, 2010: Stars execute promissory note with CFV Lender, an NHL affiliate, for $19 million. With the Stars entering the CFV debt agreement, the NHL obtains exclusive right to control the operations of the team, including the authority to "cause a sale of the Dallas Stars." HSG no longer has the ability to control the Stars or its operations.

February 4, 2010: HSG and the Dallas Stars retain GSP Securities LLC to provide financial advice and assistance in connection with the sale of the Stars, its share of the American Airlines Center and related hockey assets.

Spring 2010: HSG, Stars and lenders begin process of looking at prospective buyers and investors. At least eight of the prospective buyers signed confidentiality agreements and were given access to an electronic dataroom to study the Stars' situation.

January 14, 2011: Stars secure an additional $24.6 million of borrowing capacity under the CFV debt agreement to help with cash flow needs for the remainder of the 2010-11 season.

April 13, 2011: The Stars and Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi, who is determined to have the best offer among prospective buyers, sign a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the sale of the team. Gaglardi receives "certain limited exclusivity rights" with respect to the proposed sale. The two sides begin negotiating and drafting documents in preparation for the sale of the Stars.

May 2011: Exclusivity rights end. Lenders continue to market team and engage in negotiations with potential buyers.

September 1, 2011: The Stars and Gaglardi complete negotiations on a Stalking Horse Purchase Agreement for the Dallas Stars, its share of the American Airlines Center and its hockey assets.

September 15, 2011: The Stars file for bankruptcy in a Delaware court and announce an agreement to sell the team to Gaglardi pending an auction and court approval. Court documents state the team has lost $91.5 million over the past three years and are expected to lose in excess of $31 million in 2011-12 before costs related to the sale.

September 19, 2011: The court in Delaware approves motions that keep the Stars running as a business while the team is in the bankruptcy process.

September 22, 2011: The court approves bidding procedures for the team, setting an auction date of November 21 and November 23 for a combined hearing to approve the sale and the team’s prepackaged bankruptcy plan. Competing bids are due October 22.

October 21, 2011: Former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg, considered the most likely person to possibly bid on the Stars and compete with Gaglardi in an auction for the club, announces he will not bid.

October 24, 2011: It becomes official that no other bidders have met a deadline to submit offers for the Stars, leaving Gaglardi’s stalking horse bid as the only bid.

November 9, 2011: The court approves moving the combined hearing to approve the sale of the Stars from November 18 to November 23.

November 16, 2011: News breaks that Gaglardi has decided to bring back former Stars president Jim Lites as president of the club and that the NHL Board of Governors has approved the sale of the team to Gaglardi.

November 18: The court in Delaware approves the sale of the team of the team to Gaglardi and confirms the Stars’ prepackaged bankruptcy plan. The sale is immediately closed. Gaglardi officially becomes the new owner of the Dallas Stars.

Chuck Greenberg won't bid on Stars

October, 21, 2011
Former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg will not be bidding on the Dallas Stars. Greenberg made his intentions known this evening, posting on Twitter:
“Disappointed but not bidding on Stars. New long term TV deal was key to turnaround plan. Got very close but could not get agreement.”

Greenberg, in a text message, explained a little more about his decision.

"Long term TV deal was essential to turnaround plan. Committed to invest heavily and immediately in championship roster and first class fan experience," he said. "Tough to make those long term commitments without matching security on local media deal. Really disappointed.

"No doubt we could turn things around but without local media security it's like constructing a building atop an unstable foundation."

Greenberg’s announcement comes as a key deadline in the sale of the Dallas Stars will come this weekend. Anyone interested in topping the stalking horse bid of Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi must have a bid in by 3:00 p.m. (Central Time) on Saturday.

Saturday’s deadline comes 30 days after bidding procedures were approved in a Delaware bankruptcy court. Although the deadline is Saturday it may not be known until Monday if anyone else has stepped forward.

Greenberg was seen as the leading candidate to jump into the mix and with him deciding not to bid, it appears to clear the way for Gaglardi to complete the purchase of the Stars.

If another bidder did step forward, and at this point it appears unlikely, his bid would have to be approved by lenders and the NHL. That could set the stage for an auction at a law office on November 21.

With or without an auction, a hearing is scheduled in a Delaware bankruptcy court for November 23 that would, according to court documents, “involve approval of the Sale, and confirmation of the Debtors’ prepackaged Plan and any objections thereto and to consider any other matter that may properly come before the Bankruptcy Court.”

There is a chance the court could move up the process if there are no bidders besides Gaglardi.

After that it would take a few days to close the sale and the sale would also need approval from the NHL Board of Governors.

Court approves bidding procedures for Stars

September, 22, 2011
A bankruptcy court in Delaware today approved bidding procedures concerning the sale of the Dallas Stars.

Bids are due 30 days from today. An auction would be held November 21 in Dallas and according to court documents, a confirmation hearing to approve the sale to the winning bidder has been scheduled for November 23.

Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi has reached an agreement to buy the Stars, but his offer is subject to competing bids through the bankruptcy process.

Lawyers for former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg, who has expressed an interest in bidding for the Stars, were in court for today’s hearing in Delaware.

Stars sale takes big step forward

September, 2, 2011
The sale of the Dallas Stars is ready to take the next big step forward. A source said the process is expected to move into bankruptcy court in Delaware within the next two weeks. The expected date for the filing right now is September 14.

The Stars declined to comment on Friday.

Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi has been working for more than a year on finalizing a purchase agreement for the Stars, which includes the club and half interest in the American Airlines Center. That agreement is said to be in the final stages of officially being finalized.

Although Gaglardi would have a signed purchase agreement it doesn’t mean he is guaranteed to be the club’s new owner. His offer would be what is considered a stalking horse bid. Other potential bidders will be given a chance to top it in the bankruptcy proceedings.

Among the bidders who could be in the mix:

*Irving businessman Billy Quinn, who is the Managing Partner of Natural Gas Parnters

*Allen Americans owner Doug Miller

*Former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg

Although the case is expected to move into the courts this month, it could be a couple of months at least before the sale is finalized and a new owner is in place. It will depend on the competing bids.

Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said on a Calgary radio station Thursday that he has been told by the league that the sale should be completed before Christmas. The sale also would have to be approved by the league, which is not expected to be a problem.

Tom Hicks, who bought the club for $84 million in 1995, announced in February 2010 that he was exploring the sale of the Stars. Hicks defaulted on $525 million in loans in March 2009 and lenders, who assumed the team’s debt, have been funding the team. Forbes valued the Stars at $227 million last fall.
*It looks like Chuck Greenberg, who led the group that bought the Texas Rangers last year, is in the mix as a potential buyer for the Dallas Stars. ESPNDallas.com’s Richard Durrett has the details here.

* The search continues for a new head coach for the Texas Stars. No word on when that might get done, but one name making the rounds as a possible replacement for Glen Gulutzan is Trent Yawney. He’s spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks. Was head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks for a little more than one season and spent five years as head coach of Norfolk in the AHL.

*The Dallas Stars have voided the contract of prospect Sergei Korostin, a third round pick in 2007. Korostin has apparently signed a deal to play in the KHL. Korostin last played in the Stars’ system in 2009-10, when he suited up for the Texas Stars. Losing him isn’t that big a deal, but the freeing up a contract is. Teams are allowed to have only 50 players signed to contracts in a season.