Former Preds sponsor Sommet Group heading for liquidation

That gurgling sound you hear? That's the Sommet Group going down the drain, according to the Nashville Business Journal:

A group of creditors filed an involuntary petition in late July to push the former Nashville Predators sponsor into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows for liquidation of a company for the payment of debt. On Friday, Judge Keith Lundin issued an order granting that involuntary petition, according to court records.

At one time the Sommet Group was a surprise booster for the Nashville Predators, coming out of nowhere to sponsor them in 2007, but a dispute over non-payment of arena naming rights fees turned ugly late last year. Sommet CEO Brian Whitfield tossed The Tennessean a red herring (David Freeman's tax lien), causing a lengthy negotiation between the Preds and the Metro Sports Authority over financial guarantees, which ultimately led to the replacement of Freeman as team chairman by Tom Cigarran. In the end, maybe the result there wasn't so bad, as Cigarran has clearly impressed as the public face of the team's ownership in recent months.

As it turned out (and as I suspected last December), the Sommet Group was rife with problems of its own, and a raid by federal agents last month exposed a host of scams which ground the company to a halt. Now, it appears it will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Thus, a chapter in Nashville Predators history closes, with the new one opening on a positive note. Once again, thank goodness for Bridgestone!

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