Monday, May 24, 2010

Canes selling a part of franchise

The Carolina Hurricanes have long needed a local ownership connection, and now apparently, that could happen.

The Sports Business Journal is reporting the Canes have hired Allen and Co. to sell 50 percent of the club. The Canes are owned by Peter Karmanos, and his key partner, Tom Thewes, died two years ago. The News and Observer's Chip Alexander reached Karmanos on the phone Monday, and Karmanos said he had not said "50 percent."

But he did tell Alexander he would prefer a local investor.

"It would make sense to have a partner that lives and works in the Raleigh area," Karmanos said.

The Canes are long past any thought of relocating from Raleigh, but the fact that Karmanos is open to sharing the club is major news. Many have thought the Canes would have benefited in the beginning by having a local investor involved - it simply took a while for Carolina to adapt to its new home and the realities of being in a major collegiate market.

The risk here is that any new owner, particular one from outside the market, could mean changes for the franchise. The sell is coming at a time when Carolina has a strong young core of players and will host the All-Star Game this season. But if half the team is owned by outside investors, and the franchise struggles in future years, there is no telling what that means.

1 comment:

  1. Karmanos told the Triangle Business Journal: “My partner, Tom Thewes, passed away two years ago, and we have been putzing around trying to figure [out] how to replace the partner. We just went to Allen & Co. to explore the different ways. It's certainly not to sell the team.”
    TBJ points out that while owners go into a situation wanting to sell half a team, they often find more buyers who want all the team.