Molsons Run Into Road Block in Canadiens Deal

The Molson family's bid to buy the Montreal Canadiens ran into a bit of a hurdle on Wednesday, when it lost one of its financial backers.

According a spokesman for the family, CIT Group Inc. — which is currently fighting for survival — withdrew its commitment to provide funding for the Molsons as they attempt to buy the team. The Molsons agreed to purchase the Canadiens for $575 million in June, and they were set to receive a $225 million loan commitment from CIT.

Despite the loss of CIT's backing, it still appears that the Molsons will be able to buy the team. Spokesman Luc Beauregard told Reuters, "We have made arrangements with other financial institutions."

Beauregard did not say which financial institutions will take CIT's place, but he insisted that the deal will not be delayed and will be completed by August. The organization lends to thousands of small and medium-sized firms — including NHL teams in Edmonton, Ottawa, New Jersey, Nashville, and Dallas — but it is currently trying to restructure its balance sheet and may file for bankruptcy.

The Molsons, natives of Quebec, were set to buy the 24-time Stanley Cup champion franchise from Liverpool F.C. co-owner George Gillett. In addition to the team, they were also set to acquire the Bell Center and a concert production business.

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