Pegula family sells part of Bills stake: sources

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The Pegulas put part of the Buffalo Bills up for sale.

The bills confirmed to Athleticism That owner, Terry Pegula, hired Allen & Company, a Florida-based investment banker, to handle the potential transaction but declined to say how much of the team was being sold. A source briefed on the discussions said the provisional figure is 25 percent, and that the figure is not set in stone.

“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. “These discussions only involve the Bills and no other teams. No investment would be possible without Terry Pegula and the Pegula family retaining a majority stake 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.

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

Three sources with direct knowledge of the process noted that Pegula might not sell part of the Bills, but that for the first time, he was willing to welcome a sponsor.

He might need it. Individual ownership has become less common in sports. As valuations soar and estate taxes become more burdensome, NFL owners are finding it increasingly difficult to keep teams in their families. Terry and Kim Pegula used cash to purchase the tickets in 2014 for a then-record $1.4 billion. The deal was negotiated by Steve Greenberg, managing partner of Allen & Company. The record has since been broken with each subsequent sale.

The Denver Broncos used Allen & Company to handle their $4.65 billion sale to Walmart heir Rob Walton in 2022.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos hired Allen & Company last year to evaluate his bid for Commanders, which was ultimately sold to a group led by Josh Harris for $6.05 billion.

Forbes’ most recent NFL valuations, released in August 2023, estimate the Bills to be worth $3.7 billion, with the average NFL team valued at $5.1 billion.

The Pegulas are responsible for any cost overruns for a stadium that was originally expected to cost $1.4 billion, although industry experts predict the final price tag will be closer to $2 billion. The state’s contribution was capped at $600 million, while Erie County’s contribution was capped at $250 million.

The NFL still does not allow owners to sell a limited partnership interest in their clubs to private equity firms, unlike the MLB, NBA and NHL. The NFL, however, has moved closer to allowing such investments and could adopt guidelines this year.

(Photo by Terry and Kim Pegula: Brett Carlsen / Getty Images)

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