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Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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NFL Owners Reportedly Want to Open Door to Private Equity

  • Some NFL owners are keen to allow private equity firms to purchase minority stakes in teams.
  • The change in ownership rules could take place next year.
A view of the NFL logo and team helmets
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL could join every other major U.S. league in allowing institutional investors.

Some owners are interested in seeing the NFL join MLB, the NHL, NBA, MLS, NWSL, and others in allowing private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds to purchase stakes in their teams, according to Bloomberg.

With team values rising, the number of potential buyers and minority owners has dwindled. No major U.S. league allows private equity firms to own a majority share in a team, but many have found it to be a useful path to liquidate part of a team’s value.

Because firms view teams as investment assets, leagues typically allow individual funds to own pieces of more than one team.

While ownership rules aren’t on the agenda at this week’s NFL owners meeting, some executives are using the event as a chance to build support for the idea, which could be implemented next year.

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Fund Founders want Piece of Chargers

Clearlake Capital co-founders Behdad Eghbali and Jose Feliciano are interested in personally buying the 24% stake in the Los Angeles Chargers owned by Dea Spanos Berberian, per Bloomberg.

Clearlake was the main financial backer of Todd Boehly’s purchase of Premier League club Chelsea, and the two were interested in the Denver Broncos, which ultimately sold to Rob Walton for $4.7 billion.

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