Del Biaggio's 27 percent stake in the team has been in dispute since the San Jose, Calif., financier declared bankruptcy in 2008. He later was convicted of fraud and is serving time in a California prison.
In a March interview with the Nashville Business Journal, Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran said resolving the matter was one of his top priorities, and one of the reasons the team was looking to raise money.
At a meeting of the Metro Sports Authority today, team officials said they are close to a deal with the bankruptcy trustee but did not reveal any details. No action was taken by the sports authority today, but Chairman J.D. Elliott said a special meeting will be called to approve the deal once it is finalized. Officials have not said how much the Predators will pay or whether the stake will be assumed by new or existing members of the ownership group.
The Del Biaggio issue has hung over the ownership group like a lingering cloud, as a significant portion of the team has sat in the hands of a bankruptcy trustee for two years now. Cigarran had hinted during the Skate of the Union panel discussion that an announcement was coming soon regarding the ownership group, and here's the video courtesy of Preds On The Glass. Jump to the 5:35 mark for the relevant stuff:
Canadian entrepreneur W. Brett Wilson has long been talked about as a potential minority stakeholder, and has acknowledged in the past that this specific issue has held things up. If the Preds can indeed bring in new partners and reduce the debt load they have to carry, that's probably the single biggest boost to their profit/loss bottom line that they can make.