Peter Karmanos isn’t ready to sell the Carolina Hurricanes. But at 71 years old, he wants to start the succession plan.
Karmanos has hired New York investment bank Allen & Co. to help him find an investor who would be willing to commit “hundreds of millions of dollars into the team but let me control it,” he told TSN.
Karmanos said he wants to partner with an investor who would buy out his interest in the team over time. Karmanos said he is seeking an investor who would value his team at $420 million or more.
Several bankers had mixed reaction to Karmanos’s claim that his team is worth at least $420 million. One banker said that it was unlikely he would fetch more than $300 million for the Hurricanes. But another banker noted that New York Islanders owner Charles Wang has reached an agreement to sell the Islanders for perhaps $500 million or more.
For hockey fans in Carolina, it doesn’t really matter how much the team ends up selling for. All they’ll want to know is that the Hurricanes will be staying for the long-term — something Karmanos, who moved the franchise from Hartford in 1997, sounds confident will happen.
“I don’t see a basketball or baseball or football team coming here,” he said. “We’re going to be the lone ranger here (in Raleigh) for quite some time.”
Speculation that the ‘Canes could be on the move emerged in August; however, rumors that any NHL team was on the verge of relocating were dismissed shortly thereafter by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
“Nobody’s moving,” said Bettman. “And speculation to the contrary not only is wrong, it’s unfair to the team and their fans who are being speculated about.”