- Michael Andlauer, the Kimel family and Neko Sparks named as bidders
- Consortium led by the Remington Group and Ryan Reynolds also in the running
- Senators were valued at US$800m by Forbes in December
The outlet reports that the deadline for first-round bids submitted to Galatioto Sports Partners, the financial services firm hired by the team to facilitate a potential sale, recently passed. The bids will next be narrowed down imminently, with prospective owners to visit the Senators over the next month. According to The Athletic, the NHL is heavily involved in the sale process and will be examining the backgrounds of each bidder involved in detail.
A subsequent report from the Ottawa Sun has named four groups that have made bids for the franchise. They include a consortium formed by the Remington Group alongside actor and Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds, while healthcare billionaire Michael Andlauer is also thought to have submitted a formal proposal. The other interested parties named by the newspaper include Neko Sparks, who was reported in January to be leading a group willing to pay US$950 million for the team, as well as the Kimel family, who manage a multi-billion dollar real estate portfolio.
The Senators, which were owned by Eugene Melnyk until his passing and are now led by his family, were put up for sale last year. If they were to be sold for more than US$900 million, the transaction would set a new record for any deal involving a NHL team, beating the purchase of the Pittsburgh Penguins made by the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) in a deal worth a reported US$900 million. Last December, the Senators were valued at US$800 million by Forbes, which ranked them as the 24th most valuable franchise in the league.
Ever since the Senators were put on the market, there has been huge interest in acquiring the franchise, as shown by the reported volume of offers. With the first-round bids now made, all parties will likely find out soon if they will progress further in the process, before being able to access the club’s facilities and financials.
All approaches at this stage are considered ‘non-binding’, meaning there is space for bidders to improve the value of their offer should they proceed to the next stage. Currently, it looks like the team will be sold for a league record price, which aligns with the NHL’s expectations, given that deputy commissioner Bill Daly recently said he thought it would be “very possible” for the franchise to net US$1 billion.