In the latest news from the saga that just won’t quit, Phoenix Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes is challenging the bid on his team from Jerry Reinsdorf. As most of you know, the Reinsdorf bid has NHL approval.
Moyes filed a motion in Arizona bankruptcy court on Thursday that stated that there the bid “cannot be approved as a matter of law” and noted a lack of “qualified bidders” with respect to the terms named by the courts. Moyes filed the motion a day after the Board of Governors granted unanimous approval to Reinsdorf’s bid.
With the NHL obviously trying to block the Jim Balsillie bid, which is of course contingent on moving the team, Moyes’ response to the approval of the lesser bid from Reinsdorf is probably understandable from a business standpoint. Of course he wants the bigger Balsillie offer on the table, but Moyes is running into the wall that all NHL owners have to deal with in Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors. The Board’s stance is, in essence, that the league has ultimate approval in terms of what franchise goes where and to whom.
Moyes took the club to bankruptcy on May 5 and says that he is owed about $300 million. The Reinsdorf bid is worth under half of that at $148 million, while the Balsillie bid comes in at $212.5 million.
The league, on the other hand, is contending that Moyes’ lost finances are comparable to lost equity and, as such, don’t represent a debt that needs to be repaid. In other words, buyer beware.
Whatever happens, the auction for bidders willing to keep the team in Glendale will be postponed until next Wednesday. The basis for this postponement is due in large part to Reinsdorf needing more time to get things sorted out. Obviously the NHL is backing the postponement to make sure that their guy gets in on the bidding and, hopefully for Bettman and Co., wins it and gets the Coyotes. The auction has been postponed until September.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.