Tampa Bay Lightning chairman and governor Jeff Vinnik announced on Tuesday morning that private equity fund Arctos Sports Partners has reached an agreement to become a new minority investor in the Lightning and Vinnik Sports Group.
The agreement makes Arctos Sports Partners the first private equity fund to ever purchase a stake in an NHL franchise since the league’s Board of Governors amended bylaws back in December to allow for such investments.
The financial details of the agreement have been listed as private and will not be disclosed.
Any internal shift in power following this agreement will be very minimal. As per the details of the deal, Vinnik will maintain his control over the business and day-to-day operations of the Lightning, who are coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup championships and boast one of the most fervent fanbases in the league. Lightning CEO Steve Griggs and GM Julien Brisebois will continue in their roles as alternate governors with the NHL, as well.
Arctos is one of the most intriguing private equity funds to make their way into professional sports. Led by a six-person partner group and featuring 17 senior advisors, Arctos currently has investment stakes in over a dozen franchises across North American professional sports and European soccer.
With this partnership now in place, the NHL has joined the rest of its professional counterparts in embracing the private equity wave.