(Vancouver, British Columbia) Calgary headquartered Meridian Merchant Capital Canada Ltd. today announced that it has assisted well-known Hollywood Producer and former WHL star Oren Koules in his company’s acquisition of The Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team. Meridian Managing Director Randy Lennon introduced Koules to a group of highly regarded Tampa businessmen and then assisted in the negotiation of their equity investment into the $207 million transaction, which closed July 3, 2008
“It’s ironic that we turned to a Calgary based merchant banking firm to find great equity partners in Tampa,” commented Koules, who’s main operating partner is Canadian Len Barrie, a former NHL player who is best known in western Canada for the development of the world-class golf resort Bear Mountain in Victoria, where the Lightning held their development camp in July. “Everyone involved in this transaction worked hard to pull it off, and Randy and Meridian played an important role in allowing me to fulfill a dream of being an NHL owner,” added Koules, who is best known in Hollywood as the co-owner and producer of the wildly successful Saw movies and as an executive producer of the #1 sitcom in television, Two and Half Men.
“It’s safe to say that the new Tampa Bay Lightning ownership group has made more moves to improve its team than any other NHL franchise since they took over effective control of the team just prior to the trade deadline,” commented Lennon, a former Calgary Flames executive and former host and producer of the nationally syndicated radio show Talk Hockey Saturday Night.. “With their acquisition today of defenseman Andrej Meszaros from the Ottawa Senators, there is no question in the hockey world that Oren Koules and his partners are dead serious about re-vitalizing a team and a market that Calgarians are all too aware won the Stanley Cup just four short years ago.”
“We did our first deal last year in the entertainment sector with Network Entertainment based in Vancouver,” commented President and CEO of Meridian Keith Turner. “This is the second of what is expected to be a series of transactions in the sports and entertainment arena as Meridian leverages Lennon’s experience and expertise in those industries.”
“With its continued success in the sports and entertainment business, Meridian will be shortly announcing details of a new company division focused on this important segment.,” added Turner.