Devils owner: team not for sale

Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek is denying a report that he's selling his shares of the NHL team....

Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek is denying a report that he's selling his shares of the NHL team. (BRUCE BENNETT/Getty Images)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:49 PM ET

New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek is denying a report he's putting the NHL club up for sale.

Sources told business news site Bloomberg.com Tuesday that Vanderbeek had hired investment bank Moag and Co. to oversee the sale of the team and that letters soliciting prospective buyers had been sent out.

"As managing member of the New Jersey Devils, it is not my desire to sell the team," Vanderbeek said in a statement.

One of his business partners, however, is looking to sell its shares in the Devils.

"My partner, Brick City, and I have different visions for the franchise," Vanderbeek said. "While Brick City has a right under our partnership agreement to explore a sale and Moag and Co. has been retained to assist in these efforts, I anticipate maintaining a controlling interest."

Brick City is headed by philanthropist Ray Chambers and son-in-law Mike Gilfillan.

Another co-owner of the team, Peter Simon, is not selling his shares.

Vanderbeek became a minority owner of the Devils in 2000 and bought controlling interest in the team, 50% of the shares, for a reported $125 million in 2004. Forbes magazine's latest report values the team at $218 million.

Vanderbeek was an executive for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. for 20 years before leaving the firm in 2004 to take control of the Devils.

During his tenure, Vanderbeek has overseen the construction of a new arena for the Devils, the Prudential Center, which opened in 2007.

Entering play Tuesday, the Devils were last in the NHL with 35 points, but have been playing close to .500 since Jacques Lemaire replaced rookie coach John MacLean in December.

The Devils made financial waves in the off-season, signing forward Ilya Kovalchuk to a 17-year $102-million contract -- a deal that was rejected by the NHL, and had to be reworked to 15 years and $100 million.


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