Devils Owner Vanderbeek Buys Out Partners, Refinances Debt
New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek bought out his partners and refinanced the National Hockey League team’s debt with CIT Group Inc. (CIT) as lead arranger, the team said in a statement.
“Today’s announcement is good news for Devils fans,” Vanderbeek, a former member of the executive committee at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., said in the statement. “Our future is now secure and we can be confident of continued on-ice success.”
Vanderbeek was negotiating with his lenders, who were owed about $77 million in overdue debt, and partners Michael Gilfillan, who owned 47 percent of the team, and Peter Simon, who owned 6 percent, according to the New York Times.
The newspaper said the team carried about $178 million in debt. It didn’t say how much of the refinancing was used to buy out Gilfillan and Simon.
Vanderbeek bought the team in 2004 for $125 million. Forbes magazine estimated in November that the Devils were worth $205 million, ranked No. 19 in the league, on $122 million in revenue.
The Devils have gone to the Stanley Cup Final five times in the past 17 years, including last season, with three championships in that span. The NHL has locked out its players and hasn’t played this season as contract talks continue.
Vanderbeek ran Lehman’s capital markets division from 2000 to 2002, then became head of global risk management, private equity and strategy when the company was the fourth-biggest securities firm by capital. He left in 2004 when he took control of the Devils.
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