Canadian tycoon buys Swiss hockey team
Canadian petroleum industry billionaire Bill Gallacher has bought Swiss ice hockey team the Kloten Flyers through one of his companies, the team announced on Wednesday.
Gallacher’s Avenir Sports Entertainment is acquiring the club from owner Philippe Gaydoul, who is credited with saving the National League A team when he took it over two years ago.
Gaydoul, whose family inherited the Denner retail chain before selling a majority stake to the Migros cooperative in 2007, is to stay on the club's board of directors.
No financial details of the transaction were disclosed.
Avenir’s involvement is a “guarantee that the Kloten Flyers can continue to develop at a high level,” Gaydoul said on the team’s German-language website.
“We are impressed by the playing level of the NLA (National League A),” Gallacher is quoted as saying.
“The Kloten Flyers have a proud history,” he said of the team based near Zurich.
“Our goal is to bring the club back to where it belongs — in the upper half of the rankings of the NLA.”
The team, coached by Canadian Sean Simpson, former coach of the Swiss national team, finished in tenth place in the 12-team league this year.
Through Avenir Sports Entertainment, Gallacher already owns the Portland Winter Hawks, an American junior hockey team in the Western Hockey League.
Gallacher is known to be a hockey fan.
But in addition to his sporting interests and business dealings, he hit the headlines in Canada early this month over a matrimonial property dispute.
Following a split in 2010, his ex-wife sued him for $1 billion, which Gallacher challenged with a counter suit, but the pair recently settled the spat with an out-of-court agreement.
“Mr. Gallacher agreed to a very generous division of matrimonial assets, in excess of any legal obligation he could have had,” his defence documents stated, according to an report on April 17th from the Calgary Sun.