Preds keep it local on line of credit

$75M credit facility backed by basket of area banks

The Nashville Predators' ownership group has refinanced its $75 million credit facility with significant backing from several local financial institutions.

The local owners bought the team in 2007 with a $75 million loan from CIT, a company with a long history of backing professional sports purchases. The loan expired near the end of 2009, opening the door for a new line of credit.

The owners chose to get their credit locally. The transaction, led by Regions Bank, was supported by a syndicate of financial institutions either headquartered in or with a significant Nashville corporate presence. Those lenders are First Tennessee, Fifth Third, Wells Fargo, Pinnacle, Avenue and CapStar.

Morgan Joseph and Avondale Partners served as financial advisors and Bass Berry & Sims served as legal counsel to the Predators.

"It was important to our local ownership group that the transaction be led by an institution with a large Nashville presence like Regions and that it include a group of banks that have done so much within and for our community," Nashville Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran said. “This new credit facility is the latest step in the ownership group’s commitment to put the Predators’ organization on a firm, long-term financial footing. It will allow us to focus on pursuing our real goal: elevating Bridgestone Arena to the premier sports and entertainment venue in the country with a Stanley Cup Champion Nashville Predators hockey team as its centerpiece.”

The team has indicated it is still seeking new investors – be they local or not.