LEWISTON — Firland Management, owner of the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, will bring in an additional investor to its ownership group under a proposal set forth by principal owner Jim Cain on Friday.
The City of Lewiston must sign off on the deal because it originally financed Firland’s purchase of the facility, and 15 years of payments from Firland to the City are to begin in July 2013.
The new investor, Ron Cain (no relation to Jim), is a familiar figure in Maine ice hockey. He currently holds a stake in the American Hockey League’s Portland Pirates, and is the primary owner of the Maine Hockey Group, which operates the Junior Pirates, as well as a hockey facility in Saco.
“This obviously improves the financial strength of the organization,” Jim Cain said Friday. “But in a big way it also brings programming strength with the financial strength. It brings business to the community. Part of the overall plan is the working relationship, but also this perhaps provides the impetus to grow hockey at the junior level and beyond.”
In recent weeks, rumors have circulated in the junior hockey community that Lewiston could be part of a newly-formed league, the United States Premier Hockey League. Formed with four charter members who are also part of the current Eastern Junior Hockey League, the USPHL is ultimately hoping to be a Tier I junior program based on the East Coast. The Junior Pirates would be a potential entry into that league, and could play out of the Colisee.
At the time of the Colisee’s sale to Jim Cain and Firland Management, the City provided $1.2 million to Firland Management Colisee LLC, secured by a mortgage on the property.
In discussions regarding the City’s consent to this change, a tentative agreement has been reached to restructure and potentially shorten the repayment period for this loan. As proposed, after the third consecutive year that the Colisee has achieved a net operating income in excess of $200,000, Firland will accelerate its payments to the City. The additional payments will be 25% of any net operating income between $200,000 and $250,000 plus 50% of any amount in excess of $250,000. Accelerated payments will be applied to balances due at the end of the term, thus shortening the fifteen year repayment period.
“The City’s primary interest is to see the Colisee remain a success both financially and through the events and visitors it brings to the community,” Lewiston Mayor Robert MacDonald said in a release. “Ron Cain’s involvement will add to the facility’s financial strength while bringing significant experience in hockey programming to the facility. We expect that this new partnership will allow the Colisee to more quickly repay the City’s loan.”
With the addition of Ron Cain as a partner, Jim Cain has agreed to establish a $350,000 capital improvement and facility maintenance fund to ensure that the Colisee remains in good condition.
In order to accommodate Firland Management’s desire to close the partnership prior to the end of this calendar year, the Lewiston City Council will hold a special meeting on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 6 p.m. at City Hall. City Council approval is required to allow the sale of a portion of the ownership interest and to modify the terms and conditions of the City’s loan.
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