June 16, 2009 / 3:23 AM / in 8 years

RIM's Balsillie pondering new bid for NHL's Coyotes

TORONTO (Reuters) - Jim Balsillie is considering a new bid for the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team after a bankruptcy court’s decision that blocked the co-founder of Research in Motion from the NHL franchise to Canada.

<p>Research In Motion co-chief executive Jim Balsillie leaves a news conference in Toronto February 5, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>

Judge Redfield Baum ruled on Monday that a June 29 deadline proposed by Balsillie did not allow enough time to settle the complex case.

Balsillie was offering to buy the team for $212.5 million and move it to Hamilton, Ontario, located an hour southwest of Toronto.

A spokesman for Balsillie said on Tuesday that his client, a passionate hockey fan who made his fortune with the company known for its BlackBerry handheld device, would consider making a fresh bid for the team.

By resubmitting the motion, the team could stay in Arizona until at least the start of the 2010-11 season, giving all sides time to consider the issues.

“In the ruling, the judge encouraged us to resubmit our motion. The difficulty that the judge had ... is that there were some very, very important issues to be decided and there wasn’t enough time to decide them and consider those issues properly by June 29,” attorney Richard Rodier said.

“I anticipate resubmitting a motion. But it’s always hard to speculate going forward. Bankruptcy is a process and it’s a judicial process that is administered by the court...There’s an ebb and a flow to a bankruptcy process and I‘m not sure whether this is the ebb or the flow.”

The National Hockey League team filed for bankruptcy protection last month and said it reached an agreement with Balsillie to buy the team and move it to Hamilton.

But the NHL blocked the sale, saying the current owner Jerry Moyes had no right to consent to the team’s relocation without league approval.

Rodier also said the issue surrounding antitrust laws and the sale of the team remains to be resolved.

“The judge did not say anything one way or the other about antitrust issues other than he would deal with it if and when it came up,” he said.

($1=$1.13 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Frank McGurty

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