Dec. 07-- RALEIGH, N.C.-The Carolina Hurricanes will soon have a new majority owner.
Tom Dundon, a Dallas businessman, has signed a purchase agreement to buy a controlling interest in the team from Peter Karmanos Jr., NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday. Bettman said the agreement was signed Wednesday night.
Bettman said the transaction was not completed but could be in the next few weeks. Bettman also said the team would remain in Raleigh.
Karmanos, who has owned the franchise since 1994 and moved it to North Carolina in 1997, will retain an equity stake in the team.
Dundon, 45, and Karmanos appeared Thursday before the NHL board of governors executive committee at Manalapan, Fla., to discuss the pending sale. A formal vote of the board is required for a change in ownership after the vetting process is completed.
"I am thrilled to continue to build upon what Peter Karmanos started in Raleigh," Dundon said Thursday in a statement. "The Hurricanes are a team on the rise, and I believe we have an opportunity to take the franchise to the next level. I'm ready to get to work."
"Tom has had tremendous success in business, and I fully expect that to continue as he takes control of the Hurricanes," Karmanos said in a statement. "I look forward to working with him, and bringing another Stanley Cup to North Carolina."
At Thursday's quarterly meeting of the Centennial Authority, the public board that administers PNC Arena, the authority went into closed session to hear an update on the sale from chairman Thomas McCormick, who had previously spoken to Dundon.
"If he indeed acquires the team, it will be of great benefit to the arena and the whole region," McCormick said afterward.
Whether the authority would have to approve the transfer of the arena lease to Dundon would depend on how the sale is structured. If Dundon becomes a part-owner of Gale Force Holdings, the Hurricanes' current parent company that also manages the arena, there would potentially be no alterations to the lease. That would change if Dundon created a new entity to operate the team and arena.
Karmanos joined his former business partner, the late Thomas Thewes, in buying the Hartford Whalers in 1994-former general manager Jim Rutherford also had a share of the team-and relocated the franchise to Raleigh in 1997. Renamed the Carolina Hurricanes, the team moved into PNC Arena in 1999, reached the Stanley Cup final in 2002 and won the Stanley Cup in 2006.
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