Adviser mulling offer for NHL's Phoenix Coyotes

Executive at LPL affiliate heading up group that's eyeing bid for struggling franchise

Mar 31, 2013 @ 9:05 am

By Dan Jamieson

California financial adviser Darin Pastor is considering a bid for the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League.

Mr. Pastor, founder of Capstone Affluent Strategies, which is affiliated with LPL Financial LLC, has formed an exploratory committee of investment bankers and sports-entertainment advisers in an effort to acquire the Coyotes, which have been run by the NHL since the team went into bankruptcy in 2009.

“I've been watching what's going on and [the Coyotes] are a very competitive franchise — they went to the conference final last year,” Mr. Pastor said in an interview. “But they can't catch a break, and if they don't soon, they'll probably leave the west and go to the East Coast, Seattle or Quebec City.”

If he acquired the franchise, Mr. Pastor said he planned to keep the team in Glendale, Ariz. The Coyotes moved to Arizona for the 1996 season after spending the prior 24 years in Winnipeg.

A hockey franchise like the Coyotes would sell for about $150 to $170 million, Mr. Pastor estimated.

Mr. Pastor said he has “reached out” to Mike Nealy, president of the Coyotes, and has yet to hear back, but he said his announcement last Friday has already created a buzz among hockey fans.

He described his committee as a “close-knit group of financiers, business associates and friends” and said the group would seek out other investors but retain majority ownership.

Mr. Pastor, a Buffalo, N.Y. native, said his family has a history in the hockey business. His grandfather and great-uncles bought the Buffalo Bison Hockey Club in 1956. The family sold the team in 1971 to make way for the Buffalo Sabres, then a new expansion team.

Capstone Affluent Strategies is based in Irvine, Calif., and has branches in Phoenix and 11 other cities. The firm has 65 advisers, most of them employees.

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