The NHL’s Board of Governors announced today, they have approved the sale of a majority stake of the Arizona Coyotes to Alex Meruelo. The current sole owner Andrew Barroway has reportedly been looking to sell a majority stake in the franchise for a while, and he seems to have found a willing partner in the billionaire entrepreneur.
Per Craig Morgan on Twitter, Meruelo will be buying a 95% stake in the franchise with expectation that the will be completed in July.
ICYM Coyotes president Ahron Cohen’s statement, this portion provides more clarity on the timing of the now-approved sale of the team to Alex Meruelo: “Our expectation at this time is that this transaction will close later in July.”— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 19, 2019
To further clarify, Andrew Barroway would retain 5% of the Coyotes when the sale to Alex Meruelo closes. https://t.co/ogDydL0OyM— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 19, 2019
While it seemed likely that the Coyotes will be getting a new majority owner, the fact that Andrew Barroway will be retaining only 5% is a bit surprising. When Barroway, himself, first bought an ownership stake in the organization he started off buying 51% of the franchise before eventually purchasing the rest of the organization.
Despite the fact things appear to be happening very quickly, this has likely been a long time coming. It is rather astonishing that the league, and the team, was able to keep the sale a secret for as long as it has.
With the sale expected to complete in July, it will hopefully give General Manager John Chayka an increased budget for the free agency period. The team has been linked to some high profile free agents and possible trades, and a new owner may allow the Coyotes to spend more.