Research In Motion( RIMM) Chairman and co-CEO Jim Balslillie has agreed to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League.
Financial terms weren't disclosed, but the Associated Press reported Thursday that the purchase agreement follows an aborted sale to Toronto businessman Sam Fingold for about $175 million.
The team was bought in federal bankruptcy court in 1999 by a group led by Mario Lemieux, the Penguins' Hall of Fame forward who retired last season and put the team up for sale.
While the NHL has stated its intent to keep the franchise in Pittsburgh, the future is less than certain. The league's commitment comes with the understanding that a new arena would be built, but progress has been delayed because Lemieux's group has agreed to have
Isle of Capri
build an arena at little or no cost to the city, provided Isle of Capri wins a license for a new slot machine parlor in downtown Pittsburgh.
The license is not expected to be awarded until at least the end of the year, the AP said.
City and state officials have urged the team to pursue another deal to build an arena if the casino agreement falls through, but Lemieux's group has said it's bound by the Isle of Capri deal.
In addition, Research In Motion is headquarted in Waterloo, Ontario, near the city of Hamilton, which has been pursuing a NHL franchise for itself.
Lemieux represents the glory days of the Penguins' nearly 40-year franchise history, leading the team to back-to-back Stanley Cups in the early 1990s with help from Kevin Stevens, Ron Francis, and the then-mulleted Jaromir Jagr.
The team has spent the last four seasons near the bottom of the standings, but does have what's seen as one of the league's most marketable young stars, 19-year-old Calder Trophy runner-up Sidney Crosby.
Shares of Research In Motion were recently off 33 cents to $108.61.