Weber sells minority share of Silver Knights to locals

Courtesy photo Local banker G. Frank Teas heads a group that has purchased a miniority interest in the Nashua Silver Knights.

NASHUA – Three-plus years ago, Nashua Silver Knights owner Drew Weber put the Futures Collegiate League franchise up for sale.

This week, he finally got around to selling just a portion of it.

While still retaining majority ownership, Weber announced he has sold a percentage of the team to a group of local businessmen headed by local banker and well-known Nashua business community member G. Frank Teas.

Terms – percentage and sale price – were not disclosed.

“To me, it’s wonderful,” Weber said. “These guys want to be involved in baseball a little bit and learn the baseball business. I think it’s darn important to have some local representation. I regret I’ not there a lot.

“I’ve known Frank a long time and like him. This can only help the team. They’re going to be involved in the team.”

“We’ve been talking about this for about a year,” Teas said Thursday. “We have a love of baseball, a love of community, what a better way to tie the two together with ownership of the local baseball team.”

Joining Teas in the group is local attorney William Barry, wealth manager Kevin Halloran, and two businessmen from out of the area, investor Dan Stanzler and marketing executive Paul Reynolds. The group is called No No Nanette, LLC, named after the play whose funding needs led to the sale of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees.

How does this impact the franchise? Evidently not significantly in terms of the operation, as Weber said the biggest term of the transaction is that he be the sole voice in dealing with the Silver Knights staff.

“I told them there was one caviat,” Weber said. “You can call me up to 50 times a day with suggestions, concerns, I’m fine with that. In fact, I welcome it. It can only help.

“But what you can’t do is do that with the staff. Have it come through me – one voice. Frank’s a smart man, he understands. It’s not even a question.”

Teas agreed.

“We have a competent staff, an excellent field manager,” Teas said, adding he had no interest in being involved in the nightly operations.

Also, according to Weber, there are no steps to this deal or anything spelling out any future higher ownership percentage for the local group, or any eventual buyout agreement.“There’s no connection,” he said.

Teas said the group did inquire about a possible right of first refusal if Weber ever wanted to sell his majority interest, but it was not part of the deal.

“Drew said he wouldn’t sell it out from under us,” Teas said.

Does that mean he’ll be holding on to the team for the foreseeable future? Weber is the FCBL treasurer and on the league board.

“Whatever happens, happens,” he said, adding there are no plans for any other ownership change right now.

“Drew’s not going anywhere,” Teas said. “He wanted to ensure a local commitment to the team. His intent, and ours is to ensure that the community has the Silver Knights at Holman Stadium for years to come.”

Weber sold the Lowell Spinners in the spring of 2016 and it was assumed the Knights would be sold as well. He’s come close twice, in December of 2015 and in the summer of 2016, but those negotiations never made it to the finish line.

Teas’s name had been floated in the rumor mill the last couple of years, but Weber said the talks hadn’t been going on that long – but discussions were taking place this past summer.

“We’ve been talking a long time,” he said. “There’s been no stumbling blocks, it just took a while. There were no issues, it kind of got past the season and (Teas) wasn’t pushing and I wasn’t in a rush.”

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Weber also said he’s just waiting for the city to finalize the paperwork on the team’s lease renewal, believed to be a three year agreement in which the team provides concessions for all Holman Stadium events.

“Everything is basically the same,” Weber said. “I’m just waiting for it to be written up.”