Jeff Bezos is interested in bidding on leaders, possibly with Jay-Z

Suspension

A day after Washington leaders announced that owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder were considering selling the team, speculation about a potential buyer was widespread, and at least one prominent name of interest was confirmed: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Bezos is interested in bidding for the NFL team, according to a person familiar with the situation, and his bid may include music mogul Jay-Z as an investor. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the potential sale of the franchise is still in its early stages.

“I don’t know if they’d be involved in that,” said that person, adding that every one of them was “interested.”

Daniel Snyder is considering selling Washington’s leaders

Bezos owns the Washington Post. Amazon carries the NFL “Friday Night Football” bundle.

Bezos’ interest First reported by People.

Some in the league have said for several years that Bezos was interested in buying the NFL franchise at some point. But he clearly did not enter bids for the Denver Broncos, which were sold by the Pat Bowlen Trust in June for $4.65 billion to a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton. The NFL owners officially approved the sale in August. It was the record selling price for an NFL franchise and made Walton, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $59.2 billion, the richest owner in the league.

Bezos’ net worth is estimated at $113.2 billion, according to Forbes magazine, which ranks him as the fourth richest individual in the world.

The leaders said Wednesday that Daniel and Tanya Snyder, his wife and co-CEO of the franchise, have hired an investment bank to “look at potential transactions” related to the leaders. The team did not specify whether Snyders intends to sell all of the franchise or a minority stake. “We are exploring all options,” a spokesperson for the military leaders said Wednesday.

The consideration of the sale comes with Snyder and the leaders under investigation by the NFL, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and attorneys general in the capital and Virginia. Several people familiar with the situation said Wednesday that investigators from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia have interviewed witnesses about allegations of financial impropriety implicating the team. The team denied any financial wrongdoing.

Forbes estimated in August that the leaders were worth $5.6 billion. The day after the leaders’ announcement, those in and around the NFL began considering a list of potential buyers that could include some of the world’s richest individuals.

Media entrepreneur Byron Allen, who previously made a bid on the Broncos, is also preparing to make a presentation to the leaders, according to a person familiar with the situation who also spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the early stage of the process. If Allen succeeds, he will become the first major black team owner in the NFL after the owners approved a resolution in March endorsing diversity in franchise ownership.

“[NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell and [New England Patriots owner] The person who made it clear that Allen wouldn’t be joining any team said Bob Kraft had courted Byron Allen to take a closer look at the Denver Broncos because they wanted to do everything they could to make history and have the first black owner of an NFL team. groups as a minority investor. “The only thing Byron Allen might care about is ownership control.”

The group cited by industry analysts and other observers includes Bezos and Jay-Z; Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX; Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and co-founder of Bidding on Washington Citizens, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubinstein; and founders of Clearlake Capital, Behdad Eghbali and Jose e Feliciano, along with other former bidders for Bronco.

“Having an NFL team is the ultimate trophy,” Jack Evans, a former DC board member, said in a phone interview Thursday. “More than just a baseball team, more than anything for those with that kind of money. However, it limits the scope of who can buy it. The leagues want a person. They don’t want a group.”

Evans, as chairman of the council’s finance committee, orchestrated the deals that brought the new convention center, Capital One Arena, and Nationals Park to town. He said he believes there is “no turning back” for Snyder and that he should sell the team. Evans estimated the price could be as high as $7 billion.

Musk, who just completed a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, is the world’s richest person, with Forbes estimating his net worth at $200.7 billion. There was no indication to this point that he was interested in buying the Leaders or any other team from the NFL. Neither he nor his representatives responded to requests for comment.

Leonsis, Rubinstein, Ighbali and Feliciano declined to comment through spokespersons. Ighbali and Feliciano reportedly made an offer to the Broncos after Snyder rejected an earlier attempt to buy a minority stake in the leaders.

Brewer: Danielle Snyder is trapped — and now Washington fans can dare to dream

The Post reported in November 2020 that former limited partners Dwight Shar, Fred Smith and Robert Rothman had received an offer of $900 million from Ighbali, Feliciano and Feliciano’s wife Kwanza-Jones. People familiar with the situation at the time said the sale was blocked, because Snyder was trying to exercise his right of first refusal by matching offers to Smith and Rothman but not to Char. This has led to a dispute over whether Snyder is entitled to selectively exercise these rights.

The NFL owners ratified a resolution in March 2021 granting Snyder $450 million in debt forgiveness, enabling him to purchase the $875 million stake in Shar, Smith and Rothman, which amounted to about 40 percent of the franchise.

Other NFL owners in the past have expressed a strong desire to get Bezos to buy a team.

Amazon became the exclusive national carrier for the Thursday Night package as part of new streaming deals the NFL announced last year. The Amazon deal is said to be worth about $1 billion annually.

Bezos attended Amazon’s season opener Thursday night – the Chiefs-Chargers game on September 15 in Kansas City, Missouri – and sat alongside Goodell for at least part of the game.

“I’m sure that in the end it would be in everyone’s best interest for someone with a societal orientation like him to get involved in the Seattle situation,” Kraft said in a 2019 interview with The Post.

The Seattle Seahawks will likely be sold in the coming years by the trust of the late owner Paul Allen, former co-founder of Microsoft.

Jay-Z, whose name is given Shawn Carter, formed a partnership with the NFL in 2019 to make his agency Roc Nation a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show. He is a former part-owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Another person familiar with his thinking left open the possibility of a bid for the team, but added that Jay-Z would not seek a minority stake in the franchise if Snyder remained the majority owner.


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