Panthers May Be Sold


Florida Panthers owner Wayne Huizenga said Monday that a New York firm has been hired to examine the possibility of selling the NHL team.

Huizenga, speaking during a stockholders meeting of Boca Resorts Inc., the team's parent company, announced that Allen & Company Inc. will recommend whether to sell the team. If it does, the company would then try to line up a buyer.

Huizenga has been concerned that the team is dragging down the stock price of Boca Resorts, which owns vacation resorts. He is reportedly seeking $175 million for the team he founded in 1993 a figure his spokesman disputes.

Ron Castell said it is not certain the company will sell the team nor has it set a sale price. He said setting a sale price would set an artificial ceiling for prospective buyers.

A new owner would have to keep the team in South Florida. The contract between Broward County and the Panthers ties the team to the National Car Rental Center in suburban Sunrise for 30 years. The arena opened last year.

Boca Resorts also owns the Boca Raton Resort & Club, the Arizona Biltmore, the Registry Resort and the Edgewater Beach Hotel, both in Naples. It also owns the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Resort and Marina in Fort Lauderdale, the Radisson Bahia Mar Resort and Yachting Center, and has interests in the National Car Rental Center and the Miami Arena.

The stock closed Monday at $10.50.

Huizenga owns the NFL's Miami Dolphins. He sold the Florida Marlins baseball team earlier this year.

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