On June 27, 2008, local mogul Daryl Katz, Chairman of the Katz Group, which owns and operates over 1,800 drug stores in Canada and the US, successfully acquired ownership of the Edmonton Oilers National Hockey League franchise (“Edmonton Oilers”). The acquisition was completed by the purchase of the shares of Edmonton Investors Group Holdings Ltd. (“EIG Holdings”) from a group of local shareholders by Rexall Sports Corp. (“Rexall Sports”) for a purchase price reflecting an underlying value of the franchise in excess of $200 million. The specific vale of the transaction remains undisclosed.
In early 2008, each of the shareholders of EIG Holdings accepted an Offer to Purchase their shares (the “Offer”) put forth by Rexall Sports in December 2007. The acquisition was subsequently formally approved by the National Hockey League at a meeting of its Board of Governors on June 18, 2008 and successfully completed on June 27, 2008. Half of the purchase price was financed by a syndicate of lenders arranged by CIT Group Inc.
The completion of the acquisition of the Edmonton Oilers was accompanied by the public announcement of a commitment from Rexall Sports to collaborate with the City of Edmonton towards the building of a new hockey arena in downtown Edmonton to house the team.
Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP worked closely with the Katz Group's Executive Vice President and General Counsel, John D. Karvellas, QC in acting on behalf of Daryl Katz and Rexall Sports in the acquisition, with a team consisting of Shawna Vogel, Darlene Scott, Grant Vogel, Michael Wunder, Barry Zalmanowitz, Sapan Deol, Shayna Staniloff, Lynette Stanley Maddocks, and Dana Bissoonddatt.
CIT Group Inc. was represented by Jim Rossiter, David Budd and Tilly Gray of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP in Toronto.
Norman Lieff of Ogilvy Renault LLP in Ottawa represented the NHL.