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Vanderbeek takes sole control of Devils, completes $78 million debt refinancing


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New Jersey Devils managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek has taken sole ownership of the team after refinancing its approximately $78 million debt and buying out his partners' 53 percent stake in the organization.

In the team's announcement of the deal, Vanderbeek said the Devils' "future is now secure, and we can be confident of continued on-ice success."

"The organization believes that its successful refinancing during a work stoppage demonstrates the strength of the Devils franchise and the Prudential Center, enabling it to continue to execute on its business plan," the team said in the announcement.

In addition to completing the refinancing plan, which included paying down a portion of the team's previous debt, Vanderbeek and his affiliated entities purchased the 47 percent stake of Brick City LLC — which was headed by Mike Gilfillan and Ray Chambers — and the 6 percent share held by Peter Simon.

A spokesman for Devils Arena Entertainment, of which Vanderbeek is chairman and the sole shareholder, deferred questions to the news release.

In a prepared statement, Gilfillan said "Brick City's involvement with the Devils was to make professional sports a catalyst for economic development in downtown Newark," and it "feels we have accomplished that goal, with Jeff as our partner." A spokesman declined to discuss the deal beyond those prepared remarks.

The Record first reported the deal upon receiving the team's news release, which was distributed to Devils fans this afternoon.

Patrick Hobbs, dean of Seton Hall University's law school, sits on the board of Devils Arena Entertainment, and was a key figure in negotiations between the owners as both sides worked to keep the potential sale of the team out of the courts. Hobbs could not be reached for comment.

CIT Group acted as the lead arranger for the refinancing of the team's debt.

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