The fate of the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes, which has been mired in Chapter 11 bankruptcy hearings since May 5, is far from settled with the parties doing a lot of finger-pointing amid accusations of stalling.
NHL officials accuse Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes of trying to sabotage the team’s sale to a group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf by filing a flurry of discovery document requests ahead of a July 24 deadline for bids.
The NHL contends the “Rule 2004 Motions” Moyes filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court should have been done long ago and it’s just a stall tactic to interfere with the team’s sale.
Reinsdorf, owner of the MLB’s Chicago White Sox and NBA’s Chicago Bulls, is said to be ready to bid $148 million to buy the team and keep it at its home turf of Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz.
However, Blackberry billionaire Jim Basille made a firm offer of $212.5 million in May to buy the team and move it to Hamilton, Ontario – allegedly the deal that Moyes favors because he would get about $100 million as part of the sale.
If Reinsdorf and his partners win the bid, Moyes would reportedly get very little as that $100 million would be considered equity and put toward debtor obligations.
Moyes denied the stalling claim, saying his documentation request, which includes details of Reindorf’s bid, is merely to determine if the bid is legitimate and “in the best interest of the estate and all its creditors.”
A judge has set Aug. 5 as the deadline to consider any bids that would keep the Coyotes in Glendale. If no bids are acceptable, the court will then consider bids to move the team.