Nashville Predators ownership completes financing deal

The Nashville Predators have completed an important off-ice step in establishing the foundation of the franchise, basically re-financing a debt that the local ownership group took on when they purchased the team in 2007. It sounds like this new relationship has much more of a Nashville flavor, as opposed to the original which was established with the CIT Group.

From the team's press release:

The Nashville Predators announced today the successful establishment of a new $75 million senior credit facility. The transaction, led by Regions Bank, was supported by a syndicate group consisting of financial institutions either headquartered within the Nashville community or with a significant Nashville corporate presence, including: First Tennessee, Fifth Third, Wells Fargo, Pinnacle, Avenue and CapStar banks. Morgan Joseph and Avondale Partners served as financial advisors and Bass, Berry & Sims served as legal counsel to the Nashville Predators.

"As we took this next step in solidifying the organization's financial foundation, it was important to our local ownership group that the transaction be led by an institution with a large Nashville presence like Regions and that it include a group of banks that have done so much within and for our community," Nashville Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran said. "The quality of the institutions participating in this transaction speaks to their belief in the importance of the Predators to our community and their belief in our future.

"This new credit facility is the latest step in the ownership group's commitment to put the Predators' organization on a firm, long-term financial footing. It will allow us to focus on pursuing our real goal: elevating Bridgestone Arena to the premier sports and entertainment venue in the country with a Stanley Cup Champion Nashville Predators hockey team as its centerpiece."

One has to wonder if this part of the "paperwork" that Canadian investor Brett Wilson has referred to as standing in the way of his joining the local ownership group as a minority shareholder. No matter the case, this represents a major transaction for the franchise.

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