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Predators agree to consolidate ownership, buy Del Biaggio's share of team

Jul 21, 2010, 8:50 PM EDT

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One of the uglier and more disturbing eras in the Nashville Predators short history appears to be close to coming to an end. One time minority owner William “Boots” Del Biaggio III, who is headed to prison on fraud charges, will have his stake in the Predators purchased by the team’s other owners in a move to rid themselves of Del Biaggio’s fraudulent and bankrupt presence with the franchise.

The team’s owners announced Wednesday a signed agreement with a federal trustee to buy the shares of William (Boots) Del Biaggio III. The owners will pay only US$15.2 million for his shares, which are valued at $25 million but are tied up in bankruptcy court.

The deal is expected to be approved by the court and the NHL in August.

“This is a significant step forward to strengthen our franchise’s financial position,” said Tom Cigarran, chairman of the ownership group, Predators Holdings LLC.

With the Predators almost always being under scrutiny, financially speaking, this step in buying out Boots’ part of the franchise (27% of it to be exact) does a lot to quash worries from fans and outside onlookers alike about the security of the team. As for what happened to ole Boots, he’s headed to prison for eight years for fraud. When you fall from grace, you fall pretty hard especially when it means screwing people on million dollar payments and loans.

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