Sources close to the sale of the Stars said today that Darren Dreger's report is inaccurate that a specific buyer has an agreement in price to buy the team, but they did say that the activity around the sale of the team is high and that there is optimism about the progress of the sale.
Dreger of TSN today reported that: "Negotiations with group interested in buying the Dallas Stars at point where all parties, including the NHL, have an agreement in price....I should clarify, it's a "general" agreement in price specific to the Stars, so a firm and final number needs to be nailed down."
One source said that ``just isn't true.''
The source said that several groups are interested in buying the Stars and that the buyers are getting much more serious about the price that the lenders are seeking, but that a deal is not close at this time.
If you study the Texas Rangers sale, I just think the lenders will eventually try to create an auction situation. They can't do that in an organized bankruptcy (like they did with the Rangers), because the NHL doesn't want to go into bankruptcy court, and because the split ownership of American Airlines Center with the Mavericks creates all sorts of complications in bankruptcy. However, there are several buyers who have put a lot of time and due diligence into this process, and they all want their shot in the end to at least be considered serious buyers.
The lenders' strategy in this process has been that the economy would improve and that the ability to get more money would increase, and that appears to be what is happening. But as old buyers and new buyers get more serious, it would seem logical that the lenders will want those buyers to battle for the right to get the team. Now, could this backfire and all buyers back off (as they did earlier)? Sure. Just as easily, one buyer could put up a big number right now and keep an auction from ever getting started. In the end, the lenders would rather not fund losses for the rest of this season.
But what the source says is that they are ``in the process'' right now, and that the process at this time includes several buyers and no set price.
I'll hopefully have more later as I continue to make calls.