The first round of bids are reportedly due by the end of this week for those interested in buying the Washington Commanders.
CBS Sports reported late Monday that the first round of the bidding process — whether to potentially purchase a partial stake in the franchise or the whole team — “closes at the end of the week,” citing two sources familiar with the situation.
The Commanders have been exploring a sale since at least November, when the team confirmed owner Dan Snyder hired an investment bank to evaluate “potential transactions” of the franchise.
That investment bank, Bank of America Securities, took steps last week to move along the process by reportedly preparing to send a prospectus of the Commanders to would-be buyers who agreed to confidentiality clauses.
Multiple reports indicate that the Commanders could fetch as much as $7 billion — far surpassing the record $4.65 billion that the Broncos were bought for earlier this year. If Snyder goes through with a sale, the embattled billionaire is expected to sell the whole franchise rather than just a part of it.
The Washington Post reported last week that Snyder could run into obstacles in finding a partner willing to pay $1-to-$2 billion for minority shares unless the deal includes a pathway for Snyder to be bought out at a later date. In 2000, Art Modell sold 49% of the Baltimore Ravens to Steve Bisciotti in a deal that gave the latter the option to buy the rest of the franchise in four years.
Any sale would require three-fourths approval from NFL owners, or 24 of 32 votes.
Last month, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that there was hope the Commanders’ sale could be done by March at the NFL’s owners’ meetings.
The NFL wrapped up their most recent quarterly meeting last week, though Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that a sale of the Commanders wasn’t discussed during a session with owners.
“I don’t have any expectations on that,” Goodell said when asked if he expected the Commanders to be sold in full. “Dan’s statement that he put out was that he was exploring (a sale) and we’ll continue to work with him on that.”
The NFL is still waiting for lead investigator Mary Jo White’s probe into Snyder and the Commanders to conclude. The league launched another probe in February after a former Washington employee accused Snyder of making an unwanted advance by touching her thigh and trying to coax her into his limo. Snyder strongly denied the allegations, but they prompted another investigation months after the team was fined $10 million for its workplace misconduct scandal.
Snyder, meanwhile, has reportedly no shortage of suitors interested in the Commanders. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, in a possible bid with rapper Jay-Z, has been known to express interest in the team — with one report naming him the frontrunner.
But NBC Sports Washington reported that league sources believe that as many as six groups have already submitted bids to Bank of America Securities for the Commanders. Other widely reported candidates include mortgage executive Mat Ishbia, media mogul Byron Allen, investor Todd Boehly and Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris.
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