Also: Dal­las bil­lion­aire Tom Dun­don has agreed to buy a ma­jor­ity stake in a pro hockey team.

Bil­lion­aire signs deal to own ma­jor­ity stake in Carolina Hur­ri­canes

The Dallas Morning News - - Front Page - By KAREN ROBIN­SON-JA­COBS Staff Writer krobin­son@dal­las­news.com

Dal­las bil­lion­aire Tom Dun­don has signed a pur­chase agree­ment to buy a ma­jor­ity stake in the Carolina Hur­ri­canes pro­fes­sional hockey team.

Team pres­i­dent Don Wad­dell said Thurs­day that Dun­don will take con­trol of all team op­er­a­tions, pend­ing league ap­proval and fi­nal­iza­tion of the sale.

“I am thrilled to con­tinue to build upon what Peter Kar­manos started in Raleigh,” Dun­don said in a state­ment. “The Hur­ri­canes are a team on the rise, and I be­lieve we have an op­por­tu­nity to take the fran­chise to the next level. I’m ready to get to work.”

Dun­don, 46, is chair­man and man­ag­ing part­ner of Dun­don Cap­i­tal Part­ners, a Dal­las-based pri­vate in­vest­ment firm. He also is ma­jor­ity owner of Em­ployer Di­rect Health­care and serves as the co-chair­man of Dal­las-based Top­golf.

Most of his for­tune was amassed when he took auto loan gi­ant San­tander Con­sumer USA pub­lic in 2014 in a trad­ing de­but that raised $1.8 bil­lion. He left the com­pany in July 2015.

Dun­don also is the prime money per­son be­hind the new Trin­ity For­est Golf Club in south­east Dal­las. In May, it will be­come the new host of the AT&T By­ron Nel­son golf cham­pi­onship.

The NHL state­ment didn’t dis­close the pur­chase price. Ear­lier in the day, sports web­site SB Na­tion quoted re­ports that put the value of the deal at $500 mil­lion. That’s $130 mil­lion more than the price tag Forbes placed on the team just two days ago.

Kar­manos, who orig­i­nally pur­chased the fran­chise in 1994, will keep an eq­uity stake in the team, the NHL said. SB Na­tion re­ported the deal would leave Kar­manos with a 48 per­cent stake.

In 1997, Kar­manos re­lo­cated the team from Hart­ford, Conn., to Raleigh, N.C., where it has cap­tured three di­vi­sion titles, two con­fer­ence titles and the 2006 Stan­ley Cup Cham­pi­onship. In 2015, Kar­manos was in­ducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in recog­ni­tion of his more than four decades of achieve­ments and con­tri­bu­tions to the sport.

“Tom has had tremen­dous suc­cess in busi­ness, and I fully ex­pect that to con­tinue as he takes con­trol of the Hur­ri­canes,” Kar­manos said in a state­ment. “I look for­ward to work­ing with him, and bring­ing another Stan­ley Cup to North Carolina.”

Con­tacted by The Dal­las Morn­ing News, Dun­don said he was board­ing a plane and was un­able to talk early Thurs­day even­ing.

Sport­ing News re­ported that Kar­manos and Dun­don made a pre­sen­ta­tion Thurs­day morn­ing to the NHL Board of Gov­er­nors meet­ing in West Palm Beach, Fla.

In an in­ter­view with Cana­dian sports net­work TSN af­ter the meet­ing, Kar­manos stressed that the team would re­main in Raleigh and that it had been a con­di­tion of a sale.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions with Dun­don re­port­edly picked up steam in re­cent weeks af­ter talks with North Texas sports at­tor­ney Chuck Green­berg cooled down. Green­berg, who led an own­er­ship team that bought the Frisco Roughrid­ers mi­nor league base­ball team in 2014, had pre­vi­ously been in­ter­ested in buy­ing the Dal­las Stars.

TOM DUN­DON

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