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Scenes from Blues Stanley Victory Parade

Blues owner Tom Stillman waves to the crowd during the Stanley Cup victory parade on June 15. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

LAS VEGAS — As of early Wednesday afternoon, the St. Louis Blues became a 100-percent locally-owned National Hockey League franchise.

The 16-person ownership group led by Blues chairman Tom Stillman completed its acquisition of the minority interest in the team previously held by Sports Capital Holdings and now owns every bit of the club.

The acquisition was approved unanimously Wednesday by the NHL at its Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas.

"I am really happy about this development," Stillman said via conference call. "I think it's very positive for the Blues and for our fans and the city. It is just another commitment by the local ownership group. And a real vote of confidence in the franchise and the league, and most importantly, in St. Louis."

Sports Capital Holding was the holding company of the previous Blues ownership group, which was in place from 2006-2012 with the team run by David Checketts.

Under the new arrangement every member of the existing ownership group remains in place, with Stillman continuing as chairman and governor.

"The entire group, save for one very, very small investor is investing in this on a proportional basis," Stillman said. "The one that didn't, didn't with my encouragement _ an older investor. . . .So a very positive response. Basically everybody was on board."

Stillman declined to disclose what percentage of the total franchise value the minority interest held.

“Our all-local ownership group acquired the Blues in 2012 with two overriding goals: Win a Stanley Cup for St. Louis, and secure the long-term health of the franchise," Stillman said. "Today the group made another major commitment. . . ."

Fourteen months ago, in April 2018, plans were announced by Sports Capital Holding to sell off the minority interest, with the Blues aiding in the process. So it was possible the minority interest would be purchased by outside investors, but that turned out not to be the case.

Stillman said there was a good deal of outside interest in buying the minority stake.

"Over time it came together this way," he said. Sometimes it just takes more time to come to a deal and that was the case here."

A little more than two months ago, near the end of the regular season, the agreement was struck for the Blues' ownership group to buy the minority share. Then came legal agreements, the process of getting money from partners, etc., leading to Wednesday's vote of approval.

According to Forbes, the Blues were valued at $465 million in a study published in December 2018. The franchise was valued at $157 million according to Forbes when the group led by Stillman purchased the team seven years ago.

“Going forward, it will be business as usual, both on and off the ice," Stillman said. "We will continue to serve St. Louis by investing in the Blues, the Enterprise Center, and the community, and we look forward to raising our first Stanley Cup banner in October.”

Members of the Blues’ ownership group include Stillman, Jerald Kent, Donn Lux, James Cooper, Jo Ann Taylor Kindle, Steve Maritz, Edward Potter, Andrew Taylor, David Steward, Jim Kavanaugh, John Danforth, Christopher Danforth, Jim Johnson III, Scott McCuaig, John Ross, Jr. and Tom Schlafly.

"I think having an all-local group insures that the direction of the club is set with St. Louis top-of-mind, and with an understanding of what's important to St. Louis and to St. Louis Blues fans," Stillman said.

"As I've said before, several members of our ownership group were motivated at least as much by doing something good for St. Louis as they were for owning a piece of a hockey team. And I think maintaining it all within this local family helps ensure that we maintain those values."

So just seven days after winning the Stanley Cup, the Blues have now settled their ownership situation. As Stillman put it: "It's not a bad week."