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NHL approves sale of Devils

The SportsXchange

The NHL announced Thursday that it approved the sale of the New Jersey Devils.

The league made the announcement in a one sentence press release that states: "The National Hockey League's Board of Governors approved the sale of the New Jersey Devils to the partnership of David Blitzer and Joshua Harris."

Harris also owns the Philadelphia 76ers.

The purchase price is more than $320 million, according to multiple media outlets. The Wall Street Journal was first to report that the NHL would approve the sale.

Harris co-founded Apollo Global Management, an equity firm.

Blitzer, a minority owner of the 76ers, is also a senior executive at Blackstone Group, a private equity firm.

The Devils have been mired in financial difficulties, to the point that rumors circulated last week that the league would take over the team's operations. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman denied the reports.

Former Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek reportedly missed the first payment of a restructured bank loan to pay off the team's debt, which was $230 million, according to Forbes. The team's annual debt payment is about $15 million.

Attorney Andrew Barroway was close to buying the team and the operating rights to the Prudential Center, but he recently withdrew his offer.

The Devils have been successful on the ice and attendance has been strong since moving into the Prudential Center in 2007. Despite that, the team continued to struggle financially under Vanderbeek.
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