Carolina Hurricanes Hire Allen & Co. to Find Minority Buyer; No Move Seen

The Carolina Hurricanes hired investment bank Allen & Co. to help find a new minority owner following the death of a partner.

The National Hockey League franchise has been exploring its options since Tom Thewes, the longtime business partner of Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr., died in September 2008, Karmanos said.

“The intent is in no way to sell the team,” Karmanos said in statement posted on the Hurricanes’ website. “We simply hired Allen & Co. to assist us with the process of finding a new minority partner.”

The Hurricanes are seeking to sell 50 percent of the team, according to the Sports Business Journal, which first reported the story. The team initially will seek North Carolina-based buyers because Karmanos, who lives in Michigan, feels he needs to have a local ownership presence, the magazine said.

“Given the Hurricanes’ success as the only major professional team in a rapidly growing market, we feel confident that the results of this process can further strengthen our franchise’s bright future,” Karmanos said.

Karmanos has owned the Hurricanes since 1994, when the franchise was the Hartford Whalers. The team moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, in May 1997, signing a 40-year lease with the city and state.

The Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006 and reached the finals in 2002. They went 35-37-10 this season to miss the playoffs.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

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