Anchorage businessman makes offer for Aces hockey team

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A new offer to buy the bankrupt Anchorage Aces would keep the team in Anchorage.

Duncan Harrison, owner of Alaskan Automotive Distributors, is heading up a group offering almost $1.9 million for the team, current team owner Mike Cusack Jr. said Wednesday.

The Aces filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May with a debt of more than $2 million owed to more than 100 creditors, including 11 players from last year's team.

''It's a real deal,'' Cusack said. ''Obviously, I would have liked to see a 100-percent offer and we got pretty close.''

Cusack wouldn't identify other members of the group.

''Our group feels that the Anchorage Aces need to stay in Alaska and be owned by Alaskans,'' Harrison said in a release. ''We hope the community will be as happy as we are with this amazing opportunity.''

Harrison said the hiring of a general manager, coach and players should happen soon if the deal is approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the West Coast Hockey League. Season tickets already purchased for the upcoming season will be honored, he said, and his group will work with the team's creditors on a repayment plan.

Last week, Bankruptcy Court judge Donald MacDonald continued a hearing on a U.S. trustee's motion to either convert the team's Chapter 11 case to Chapter 7 or appoint a Chapter 11 trustee. U.S. trustee Barbara Franklin asked the court to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee, who would essentially take control of the team.

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