April 19, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing B.J. Crombeen (right) is congratulated by left wing David Perron (57) after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the first period in game four of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at HP Pavilion. (Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE)
By Leisa Zigman
St. Louis (KSDK) - The National Hockey League Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the St. Louis Blues to a group headed by beer distributor Tom Stillman Wednesday.
The sale price was not disclosed, but is believed about $130 million.
Sources close to the deal say there are five major investors in this new group. They all live in St. Louis, they all have a strong commitment to the community, and they all want to see the Blues become a premier franchise.
The new ownership group is led by Tom Stillman, a current minority owner of the team, who is about to achieve a lifelong dream.
Mr. Stillman is Chairman and CEO of Summit Distributing, the second largest beer distributor in Missouri. Summit's brands include Miller, Sam Adams, Corona, Heineken, and Blue Moon.
Mr. Stillman serves on the boards of the St. Louis Blues 14 Fund, Commerce Bank, the St. Louis Sports Commission, and the Nature Conservancy in Missouri.
Andy Taylor is Chairman and CEO of Enterprise Holdings. He acquired Alamo Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands in 2007, the largest acquisition ever in the car rental industry. His family is credited with saving and ensuring the future of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He is a life Trustee of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Trustee of Washington University, and the Naval Aviation History Foundation.
Jerry Kent is President and CEO of Cequel III, an investment and management company. Cequel also owns the seventh largest cable company in the United States. From CPA with Arthur Andersen, to co-founder of Charter Communications, Kent has been called a trailblazer in the telecommunications industry. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Washington University and chairs the board for REJIS (the Regional Justice Information Service). He also serves on the boards of The Magic House, the St. Louis Zoo and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.
Donn Lux is President and CEO of LuxCo, a manufacturer of distilled wine and spirits, including Pearl Vodka. The company was started in St. Louis in 1958. The Lux family has been long time benefactors of the St. Louis Zoo and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Mr. Lux also serves on the Regional Business Council and the St. Louis University Board of Trustees.
Sources say the fifth major player in this ownership group is a business executive who founded and runs a billion dollar technology company. He will become one of just handful of minority owners of an NHL team.
The big five and other investors will be announced at Thursday's news conference. Sources say minor investors include Steve Maritz, CEO of Maritz, Inc. and former U.S. Sen. John Danforth.
The I-Team reached out to members of the new ownership group. We were referred to Mr. Stillman, who said he would not comment until after Thursday's news conference.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.