NHL Allows Private Equity Funding, Wild and Lightning Jump In

    • The NHL has opened its doors to private equity funding.
    • Two teams, the Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning have deals lined up.

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The NHL became the latest league to allow private equity firms to invest in teams — and two have already jumped at the opportunity.

Arctos Sports Partners is set to buy stakes in the Minnesota Wild and Tampa Bay Lightning after the NHL’s board of governors voted Thursday to change its rules to allow for institutional investors.

The new rules follow in the paths of the NBA, MLS, and MLB, which have all rewritten bylaws to allow for new ownership structures.

  • NHL teams can sell up to a 30% stake to private firms.
  • Individual firms can own up to 20% of a team.
  • Firms can have stakes in up to five NHL teams.
  • The minimum investment required is $20 million.

The league has approved the sale of an up-to-10% stake of the Wild to Arctos, per team owner Craig Leipold. Arctos has also been approved to buy an undisclosed stake in the Lightning.

Arctos’ Sports Investments

Arctos’ flagship fund topped $3 billion in October after raising $2.1 billion. The firm has a 17% stake in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings at a $1.8 billion valuation, as well as a 5% stake in the Golden State Warriors at a $5.5 billion valuation.

It also holds stakes in Fenway Sports Group and the Premier Lacrosse League.