The Nashville Predators may be looking for a new investor after minority owner William (Boots) Del Biaggio filed for bankruptcy in the Northern District of California on Friday.
The San Jose Mercury News reported that Del Biaggio listed more than $67 million US owed to his top 20 creditors and an investment fund.
Del Biaggio, who once had a stake in the San Jose Sharks and lobbied to try to bring an NHL club to Kansas City, Mo., joined with a group of Nashville businessman to purchase the team last year from Craig Leipold.
The newspaper reported that Leipold, one of the creditors, is owed $10 million US. Leipold is now an owner with the Minnesota Wild.
Del Biaggio has a 27-per-cent stake in the Predators, second only to Doug Bergeron, but is facing mounting legal and financial woes.
Del Biaggio, 40, was slapped with a lawsuit last week by an investment firm that alleges he engaged in fraud to secure a multimillion-dollar loan, one of four lawsuits he's facing. He is also the subject of a probe by U.S. federal authorities, and stepped down last week from the financial services company he helped co-found more than a decade ago.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told Hockey Night in Canada last week that because Del Biaggio was a minority owner of the Predators, the club would not be adversely affected, regardless of the outcome of his troubles.
The Nashville consortium came together weeks after Leipold entered into a letter of intent to sell the club to Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion executive Jim Balsillie, but the deal fell through after Balsillie explored moving the franchise to southern Ontario.
The National Post reported on Friday that Balsillie and Del Biaggio met in May to discuss the embattled shareholder's stake.With files from the Associated Press