Bills owner Terry Pegula to explore sale of minority stake of team – Buffalo News

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Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula is exploring a potential sale of a minority stake in the franchise, the team announced Friday.

“The Pegula family has retained Allen & Company to explore the potential sale of a non-controlling, minority interest in the Bills,” the team said in a statement Friday afternoon.

“These discussions only involve the Bills and no other team. No investment would be possible without Terry Pegula and the Pegula family maintaining a controlling interest in the team. Their continued commitment to Western New York, the new Highmark Stadium, our fans, and the other teams in their portfolio remains unchanged,” the statement said.

“Neither the team nor the Pegula family are able to comment further at this point.”

In addition to the Bills, the Pegula family owns the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks, along with the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans.

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News of the potential sale was first reported by The Athletic. According to that report, Pegula may look to sell 25% of the team, although the specific amount could ultimately change. The Pegulas will retain controlling interest in the team despite any sale, a separate league source stressed to The Buffalo News.

The Pegulas purchased the Bills in 2014 for $1.4 billion. Since then, the value of the Bills has more than doubled. Forbes magazine estimated the team to be worth $3.7 billion in 2023.

So selling a minority stake in the team would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the Pegulas at a time when they are facing soaring financial obligations from the new stadium construction project.

What started as a $1.3 billion project is now projected to cost more than $1.7 billion and could end up being closer to $2 billion, according to industry experts.

The state and county are contributing $850 million to the project but all cost overruns are on the team.

Minority owners are not uncommon in the NFL. Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam owned a minority stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers before selling it in 2013 after acquiring Browns. Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper owned a 5% stake in the Steelers before purchasing the Panthers. Tepper sold his stake in the Steelers in 2019, a year after completing his purchase of the Panthers.

The ownership group put together by billionaire Josh Harris last year to buy the Washington Commanders for $6.05 billion included more than a dozen limited partners, including NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

In 2019, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank sold a 10% stake in the team to three limited partners. That deal was estimated to be worth $300 million, based on a $3 billion valuation of the franchise.

Allen & Company is a Florida-based investment company that offers wealth management solutions.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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