June 13 (UPI) -- Healthcare industry billionaire Michael Andlauer agreed to buy 90% of the Ottawa Senators, the NHL franchise announced Tuesday.
Sources told the Ottawa Sun, Front Office Sports and Sportico that the purchase will be for nearly $1 billion, the largest sum paid for a franchise in NHL history. The purchase agreement is subject to approval by the NHL.
"My family and I are very excited to be a part of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club," Andlauer said in a news release. "I believe that the Senators' fanbase is one of the most passionate in the league and I'm excited to take the franchise's success both on and off the ice to the next level.
"The short and long-term future of the team is incredibly bright, and I look forward to getting to know the team, the fanbase and the community."
Anna and Olivia Melnyk, the daughters of late owner Eugene Melnyk, will retain 10% interest in the Senators. Andlauer, a 10% minority owner in the Montreal Canadiens, must sell that share because of his new interest in the Senators.
Andlauer, the president and CEO of Andlauer Healthcare Group, was the former owner of the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs. In 2015, he sold the Bulldogs to the Canadiens and purchased the Ontario Hockey League's Belleville Bulls. He relocated the Bulls to Hamilton the same year.
Andlauer purchased his share in the Canadiens in 2009.
Melnyk purchased the Senators in 2003 for $92 million. He died in March 28, 2022, leaving the team to his daughters. Melnyk, who died from an unspecified illness, was 62.
The original Ottawa Senators, founded in 1988, won 11 Stanley Cup titles before the franchise moved to St. Louis and disbanded after one season (1934-35).
The Senators named was revived for the current franchise, which was founded in 1992. The team has never won a Stanley Cup, and went to the playoffs just twice since 2013-14. The Senators went 39-35-8 last season, their first campaign with a winning record since 2016-17.