Matthew Hulsizer has withdrawn his bid to buy the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Phoenix Coyotes franchise.
Hulsizer, a co-founder of PEAK6 Investments, was in talks to acquire the troubled franchise from the NHL, which will continue to operate the team until it is sold. The NHL seized control of the club out of bankruptcy after a court battle with former owner Jerry Moyes, who was hoping to sell the Coyotes to Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie – a deal that would have seen the team relocate to Canada.
The NHL is hoping to find a buyer who would keep the Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona. Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and another unnamed group reportedly remain in negotiations over a possible purchase of the franchise.
A statement from the Franchise said: “The City of Glendale and the National Hockey League continue to negotiate with other interested parties to secure new ownership for the Phoenix Coyotes. The objective continues to be to transition ownership of the club to an interested purchaser in the coming months.”
The City of Glendale has committed funds of up to US$25m to cover any losses and keep the team at Jobing.com Arena for the 2011-12 season.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said: “The Hulsizer decision to withdraw was related to the City of Glendale’s decision to pursue a different deal structure – a structure that several interested purchasers have indicated an interest in pursuing.”
He added: “So, while we are disappointed for Matt that he chose not to continue his pursuit, the development does not represent a step backwards in the process. We are still pushing toward a sale at the earliest possible date.”