The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society has reached an agreement in principle with majority shareholder Okanagan Hockey Schools to buy the Alberni Valley Bulldogs of the B.C. Hockey League.
If the sale is approved by the B.C. Hockey League, it will mean the Bulldogs will be 100 per cent owned by the society, director Al McCulloch said. Minority owner Dr. David Ness has already stated publicly that if the society’s purchase is successful, he will also sell his 20 per cent share in the team to the society. The See Group of Companies also owns shares.
A business plan has been drawn up, a term sheet signed and plans submitted to the BCHL board of governors for approval. If the society’s sale structure, business plan and operating budget are approved by the board, the society will own 100 per cent of the team and will hold no current liabilities, the society announced in a press release.
“We’re going to end up meeting with (the board of governors) in the next week or so to talk about it,” McCulloch said. While the BCHL must puts its stamp of approval on the deal for it to go through, McCulloch was hopeful.
“We’re really excited to move forward now,” he said.
The junior hockey society has raised $250,000 and still needs to raise another $50,000 “just to make sure we’re solid through the season,” McCulloch said.
Vendor financing is involved on a long-term basis, with a competitive rate of interest.
Last week an Island-owned company, Vancouver Island Sports and Entertainment Ltd., became the majority shareholder of the Victoria Grizzlies, also of the BCHL.
Their deal is also up for approval in front of the league’s board of governors. McCulloch said the move to local ownership in the south Island will positively affect Port Alberni’s bid.
The PAJHS has asked current directors Andy Oakes, from OHS and Dennis See to stay on as advisors to ensure a smooth transition of ownership.
This will also provide continuity for players, staff and volunteers.