The Pittsburgh Penguins are exchanging hands.
The rumoured transaction between Fenway Sports Group and the Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux-led Penguins ownership coalition was made official on Monday morning with the high-profile investing group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool, buying the NHL club for "around $900 million," according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Fenway Sports Group (FSG), a global sports, marketing, media, entertainment, and real estate company, today announced that FSG has entered into an agreement to acquire controlling interest in the Penguins.
Details: https://t.co/7rdSTv2wzL pic.twitter.com/Rx3YKG5f8A
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 29, 2021
For Burkle and Lemieux, it's a considerable financial windfall. The two helped save the organization from a certain financial reckoning when they took ownership of the club in 1999 for a reported $107 million.
Burkle will remain part of the ownership group but can now use his staggering profits after three Stanley Cup championships to address businesses reportedly hurt by the pandemic.
Lemieux is also staying on and is expected to remain in his executive role in "guiding hockey operations."
Brian Burke, Ron Hextall, and other members of senior management will continue to reprise their roles under Lemieux.
The reported $900 million price tag meets a key number in terms of NHL value. There were reports that the NHL balked at transactions for less than $750 million in recent years.
The value of the Penguins deal suggests the baseline value level has risen considerably, though the Carolina Hurricanes and Arizona Coyotes have sold for considerably less inside the last five years.
LeBron James is among the investor team with Fenway Sports Group, which is an interesting part of the deal for the NHL as well. It's expected that FSG will turn its attention to buying an NBA franchise and other sports properties now that it has added a high-profile NHL team to the portfolio.
The latest NHL franchise to define its value was the Seattle Kraken at $650 million, but as an incoming expansion franchise, that would be considered apples to oranges compared to the Penguins.
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