Canucks owner’s perks on table in Aquilini divorce
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:02PM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:11PM PST
The estranged wife of Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini told a B.C. judge Wednesday she wants to continue enjoying company perks, including use of the owner’s suite at Rogers Arena.
Taliah Aquilini alleges their 20-year marriage is ending because of adultery and wants a share of her husband’s assets, which include the entire Canucks franchise.
She also is requesting team owner’s perks such as a Hawaiian vacation home, cell phones and limousines that she and her husband shared previously.
Mr. Aquilini’s lawyer Karen Shirley-Paterson tried to argue those assets belong to his family’s company, the Aquilini Investment Group, not him.
Justice Nathan Smith appeared skeptical.
“You keep saying the other parties don’t want her on the property. How can they have done that independently of Mr. Aquilini?” Smith asked.
“I don’t think I can speak to that, my lord,” Shirley-Paterson replied.
Asked about the divorce, the Canucks owner said the case is a private family matter and would not impact the day-to-day operations of the team.
Ms. Aquilini has not stated that she’s seeking partial-ownership of the Canucks, but the team’s value is being calculated and will be a key factor in the case when it goes to trial.
Lawyer Ravi Hira said in a typical divorce all family assets are in play.
“If she’s able to prove that her husband’s share of the business is a family asset, she’s entitled to half of that share,” Hira said.
Forbes Magazine has estimated the team is worth about $300 million.
The court also heard Wednesday the divorce is taking a financial toll on the estranged couple, who have taken out lines of credit totaling $2.9 million to pay for legal fees.
Mr. Aquilini just settled a $315,000 debt by selling some of his wine collection, and Ms. Aquilini has asked the judge for permission to sell the remainder of the 1,900-bottle collection for another $615,000.
The trial is scheduled to start in September.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Jon Woodward