Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
The value of the Vancouver Canucks franchise has, like the value of most professional sporting properties, exploded over the past decade.
The Canucks’ current ownership, the Aquilini Investment Group, purchased the club for an undisclosed sum from John McCaw back in 2005. It was later revealed during legal proceedings between Tom Gagliardi, Ryan Beedie and Francesco Aquilini that the purchase was for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $250 million.
That investment has paid off in spades. Though the Canucks’ performance in Forbes’ annual franchise valuations has flat-lined somewhat over the past three years (after growing exponentially for much of the past decade), Forbes’ latest valuation of the franchise would suggest that the Aquilini Investment Group has essentially tripled their money in 10 years. And that’s a very, very conservative estimate.
On Tuesday Forbes unveiled their 2015 NHL team valuations and the Canucks were valued at $745 million, making them the sixth most valuable team in hockey. Click past the jump for more.
For the visually inclined, here’s how Vancouver’s franchise valuation has jumped over the past seven years:
The club’s valuation actually fell this season over last, by about $55 million. We should note, though, that Forbes’ data isn’t all that reliable:
[Forbes’ numbers] are collected from publically available documents and filings and some are estimates. Even then, there are many things that can get counted in a variety of ways when it comes to corporate finances, so comparing them is never going to be an exact science. This is even more true when we get to Operating Income, because any well-run company with a semi-competent CFO is going to try and use accounting methods to minimize the bottom line as much as possible in order to reduce the tax burden.
As our pal Petbugs summarized a few years ago, Forbes’ numbers “are almost certainly wrong.”
The data may be imperfect, but it is extremely interesting, particularly because its been widely suggested that the Aquilini Investment Group may look to cash in their chips in the near future. Jason Botchford noted in a recent Provies that if the Aquilini family were to look to sell the franchise, they’d be seeking 20 percent above market value as the sale price, which, yeah doesn’t seem like a stretch at all.