Disney sells Mighty Ducks

Disney sells Anaheim Mighty Ducks to Orange Country billionaire

Just because there's no NHL season doesn't mean any of the league's owners aren't wheeling and dealing on the sidelines.

The Walt Disney Company sold the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to Orange Country entrepreneur and billionaire Dr. Henry Samueli and his wife, Susan, on Friday.

It's been rumoured that Disney had been looking for a buyer ever since the Ducks made the Stanley Cup final in 2003.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was rumoured Samueli offered $50 to $60 million US for the 12-year franchise.

The Disney paid $50 million for the Ducks to join the league as an expansion franchise in 1992. The Ducks entered the NHL along with the Florida Panthers in 1993.

"Our acquisition of the team assured that the Mighty Ducks will remain in the hands of local ownership committed to keeping the team in Orange County and putting a consistent winner on the ice."

Friday's sale officially marks the end of Disney's involvement in the sports property business.

Two years ago, Disney sold its Major League Baseball club – the Angels – to Arte Moreno.

The high point in franchise history came two years ago, when the Ducks came just one game short of winning the 2003 Stanley Cup finals. They failed to make the playoffs the following year.

"Our primary goal in creating the Mighty Ducks was to make another major professional sports franchise a large part of the spirit and fabric of the city of Anaheim and Orange County," said Michael D. Eisner, CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

"We are all proud of the team's accomplishments, including its Western Conference championship and its berth in the Stanley Cup Finals in the 2002-03 season. We are also pleased with the Ducks' steadfast commitment to the community over the years. We are confident that Henry and Susan Samueli will bring continued success to the Ducks and we will remain among the biggest fans of the team going forward."

Dr. Samueli is co-founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer of Irvine-based Broadcom Corporation, a global leader in broadband communications semiconductor chips.

Samueli said he will continue to remain focused on his duties at Broadcom and leave the day-to-day management of the franchise to a strong leadership team.

with files from Sports Network