View Full Version : NEWS: Steelers' buy-out bid heads to vote

12-16-2008, 07:57 AM
Steelers' buy-out bid heads to vote
Buzz up!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dan Rooney
Chaz Palla/Tribune-Review
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Carl Prine can be reached at cprine@tribweb.com or 412-320-7826.
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Dan Rooney's drive to become principal owner of the Steelers inched toward the goal line Monday.

Nine NFL franchise owners on the league's Finance Committee have forwarded Rooney's buy-out bid to all 32 clubs for a yes-or-no vote Wednesday in Dallas. If nine owners vote against the package, it dies and Rooney, 76, will remain chairman and minority shareholder of the fabled franchise, but not its principal owner.

Currently, ownership is shared by him, four of his brothers and the relatives in the McGinley clan. Neither NFL spokesman Greg Aiello nor the owners would say how owners on the Finance Committee voted.

Chaired by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, the committee met for more than four hours by conference telephone call yesterday afternoon. The session previously had been scheduled for Dec. 10, but Rooney continued to work out a buy-out package expected to incur $280 million in debt for a loan arranged by PNC Financial Services.

The NFL has prodded Rooney's four brothers to sell their 64 percent cut of the team or divest from increasingly lucrative casino operations in New York and Florida. If the new restructuring is approved tomorrow, Dan Rooney and his son, club president Art Rooney II, will hold 30 percent of the shares with the rest controlled by family and outside investors.

The deal also will fix the value of the franchise at about $750 million, once business debt of about $50 million is subtracted, according to the Rooney brothers.

With the Saints' Benson, NFL's Finance Committee includes Bud Adams (Titans), Arthur Blank (Falcons), Joel Glazer (Buccaneers), Jim Irsay (Colts), Jeffrey Lurie (Eagles), Robert Kraft (Patriots), Bob McNair (Texans) and Wayne Weaver (Jaguars).

12-16-2008, 09:57 AM
Okay, here's my question about this deal. Dan and Art II are going to own 30% of the Steelers and the other 70% will be split between the 17 investors and the McGinleys. Lets say that one of the investors' businesses takes off and he/she becomes very wealthy. Can the shares that each investor owns be sold privately to each other? Or, does that type of sale have to go through the NFL?

I ask because the last time I was in school 30% really doesn't equate to being the majority owner. You would need 51% to be the majority owner. I realize that the NFL only requires that the "majority" owner be at least 30% invested in the team, but, the reality is that if the shares of the Steelers can be privately sold, then, one of the investors could potentially buy enough shares to become the real majority owner.

This buy out is not going to be a positive event for the Pittsburgh Steelers. There are going to be too many people with too much money involved for this to be a positive situation for the Steeler organization. Just my :2c - .18 cents