Pegula family sells part of Bills ownership stake: sources

The Pegulas family is putting part of the Buffalo Bills up for sale.

Bills confirmed to The athlete Owner Terry Pegula has hired Florida-based investment bankers Allen & Company to handle the potential deal but declined to say how much the team would be sold for. A source familiar with the discussions said that the practical figure is 25 percent, and the number is not specified.

“The Pegula family has retained Allen & Company to explore the potential sale of a non-controlling minority interest in the Bills,” the team said Friday in a statement. “These discussions include only the Bills and not any other team. No investment would be possible without Terry Pegula and the Pegula family retaining 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.”

“Neither the team nor the Pegula family can comment further at this stage.”

Three sources with direct knowledge of the process confirmed that Pegula may not ultimately sell part of the bills, but for the first time, he is ready to welcome a limited partner.

He may need to. Sole ownership is becoming less common in sports. As valuations rose and the burden of property taxes increased, NFL owners faced increasing difficulty keeping teams within their families. Terry and Kim Pegula used cash to buy the Bills in 2014 for a then-record $1.4 billion. Since then the record has been broken with every subsequent sale.

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

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Forbes' latest NFL ratingspublished in August 2023, valued the Bills at $3.7 billion, with the average NFL team at $5.1 billion.

The Bigolas face any cost overruns for the stadium, which was initially expected to cost $1.4 billion, although industry experts expect the final price tag to 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 stake in their clubs to private equity firms, unlike the Major League Soccer (MLB), the NBA, and the National Hockey League (NHL). However, the NFL is close to allowing such investments and could adopt guidelines this year.

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

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