The worst kept secret of the past several weeks has finally come to fruition -- the Arizona Coyotes have a new majority owner.
Andrew Barroway, Managing Partner of Merion Investment Management LP, has agreed to purchase a 51 percent stake in the hockey team for a reported $155 million (the franchise was recently valued at $305 million). IceArizona purchased the Coyotes a little more than 14 months ago for $170 million.
The jump in value has a lot to do with the strength of the NHL's current finances, the new Canadian TV deal, and new credit line programs that have opened up for U.S. owned franchises (something the Coyotes now are).
"This is truly a dream come true for me and my family," Barroway said in a press release. "I am extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity of a lifetime and look forward to working and solidifying a strong partnership with the Club’s current ownership group."
Pending approval from the NHL’s Board of Governors, Barroway will join the IceArizona group and become the Coyotes Chairman and Governor. George Gosbee, the team's previous governor, will become the team's alternate governor. Anthony LeBlanc will remain the team's CEO.
"As a group we are committed to serving our fans with a new level of excellence and our collective goal is to put a competitive team on the ice every season and, one day, win the Stanley Cup," Barroway said.
The influx of capital will allow IceArizona to pay off its $85 million high-interest loan from Fortress Investment Group as well as part of its loan from the NHL.
"Today is an exciting day for the Arizona Coyotes and our great fans," LeBlanc said in the same press release. "The addition of Andrew Barroway to our ownership group further solidifies the Coyotes long-term future in the Valley. Our entire ownership group is excited about this opportunity to work with Andrew in taking this franchise to the next level. It's a great day for hockey in Arizona!"
It remains to be seen how much additional funds are allocated to the on-ice product, as the Coyotes are near the bottom of the league in team payroll this season.
As for that pesky out clause, not much changes. Should the team lose $50 million by the end of year five, they have the ability to opt out of their lease agreement with the city of Glendale. IceArizona has repeatedly said that they are committed to Arizona and that they have shared those sentiments with Barroway.