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Four groups show interest in buying Dallas Stars

Tom Hicks, owner of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars watches the action during the game against the Seattle Mariners at The Ball Park in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers defeated the Mariners 5-4.Mandatory

Ronald Martinez

While there are four groups interested in buying the Dallas Stars, none of them have submitted a bid for the NHL team.

A report by The Hockey News said Tuesday that Dallas oil-and-gas man Douglas Miller made an offer but a source close to the situation said he did not. The source said at this point Miller, the chairman of Exco Resources, who also owns the Allen Americans of the Central Hockey League, is only looking at a possible purchase.

Miller's name was connected in the past to a Stars' sale. He almost bought the team in 2002 when Hicks put the team on the market and then withdrew it because he could not get the price he wanted.

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The Stars and a 50-per-cent interest in American Airlines Arena have been for sale since owner Tom Hicks defaulted on $525-million (all currency U.S.) in bank loans connected to the NHL team and the Texas Rangers, the Major League Baseball team that was seized and sold by Hicks's creditors.

There are four groups looking at buying the Stars, according to the source. Only three groups have been identified. Aside from Miller there is Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi and Billy Quinn, another Dallas oil-and-gas man who is a minority partner in the group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan that bought the Rangers.

Mark Cuban, who owns the other half of American Airlines Arena and the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, has often been said to be interested in buying the Stars. But he has said several times he is interested only in a minority share in order to boost his share of the arena, which is profitable unlike the Stars.

The major roadblock in the sale is the price, as Hicks's bankers want to maximize it in order to minimize their losses. At one point, a source said they were demanding in excess of $400-million but it appears the price is now closer to $225-million.

The Stars were once one of the NHL's most successful teams but are now operating on advances from the creditors and advances on the team's share of league revenues, such as broadcasting and revenue-sharing. All of the team's major expenses must be approved by the bankers.

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About the Author
Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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