There was not a whole lot of interest to buy the Erie Otters, and only one bid was placed for the team at an auction conducted by the US bankruptcy court. JAW Hockey Enterprises LP, a group led by former CHUM Radio executive James A. Waters spending $7.225 million to buy the Ontario Hockey League team.
The Otters filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy April 8 to stop the forced sale to the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers. The Otters owe the Oilers $4.8 million in loans and interest. The Oilers loaned the Otters $4.2 million beginning in December 2011 to keep them afloat. That debt will be repaid through the bankruptcy sale.
Waters has said that the franchise will be guided by Roy Mlakar, a Cleveland area native and former Ottawa Senators president and chief executive.
Erie businessman Owen McCormick, who is one of the owners of the Erie’s minor-league basketball team, said his group didn’t see enough “return on investment” to justify trying to make the purchase.
JAW Hockey Enterprises made the opening bid in May and set sale terms as the preferred buyer designated by current Otters owner Sherry Bassin.