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Monday, October 7
Updated: October 8, 10:57 AM ET
Some details, deductions still to come most likely

Associated Press

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics shareholders, who own 48 percent of the team, would receive $25 to $35 per share from the $360 million planned sale of the club, the Celtics said Monday.

The price could offer a more-than 200 percent premium over the $11.35 closing price when trading on the stock was halted pending news of the sale last month.

But the approximately $67 million to $95 million it would provide for shareholders is well short of 48 percent of the sale price of the team, which would amount to $173 million.

Shareholders will get their proper proportion, but deductions will have to be made to cover corporate taxes and bond payments that come due in 2038, according to a senior Celtics executive, who spoke on condition he not to be identified.

The Celtics are 52 percent controlled by a partnership controlled by Paul Gaston, and 48 percent by a publicly traded company owned mostly by fans with a handful of shares in the team, bought more as a souvenir than an investment.

Last month, venture capitalists Stephen Pagliuca and Wycliffe Grousbeck, and Grousbeck's father Irving, a cable magnate, announced plans to pay $360 million to buy out Gaston's share and purchase from the publicly traded company its stake in the team.

The deal left shareholders, however, confused about what if anything they would receive for their shares, which began trading publicly in 1986.

Shareholders who declined to transfer into the partnership during a 1998 reorganization received a debenture for each share, which is essentially a bond with a $20 face value that comes due in 2038 and must be provided for.

But one shareholder said he didn't accept the team's arguments about the debenture and said shareholders should have gotten more money.

''I don't think that should be factored in the sale price,'' said James Dailey of Hamden, Conn., on Monday. ''I don't think that's fair or just."

The Celtics executive said the team decided to announce the expected range shareholders would receive because of confusion about how much they would get out of the deal. The team had been criticized and even sued by one investor group for failing to disclose details of the sale.

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