Some of the world's wealthiest are fighting for one of the NFL's most famous teams
A group led by Apollo Global Management co-founder Josh Harris has placed a bid for the NFL’s Washington Commanders, according to a person familiar with the matter, kicking off a race for what could be a record sports deal.
Harris is leading a group of investors including NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson and fellow billionaire Mitchell Rales. The Commanders, owned by Dan Snyder, hired a bank to explore sale options in November and has been soliciting bids in recent months. Snyder is looking for offers near $6 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Representatives for Harris and the Commanders declined to comment.
The bid from Harris fires the starting gun on what could end up being a battle between some of the world’s richest people for one of the best known NFL franchises.
Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s third-richest person with a $121.3 billion fortune, is among those interested in bidding for the franchise, bought by Snyder in 1999 for $800 million, along with Tilman Fertitta, owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
The sports world has shattered records in recent years as franchise values continue to climb.
Rob Walton, a member of one of the world’s richest families, bought the Denver Broncos last year for $4.65 billion. Manchester United, one of the best known football clubs, is also up for sale and is currently attracting bids of more than $5.5 billion.
Harris has an estimated net worth of $7.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Through his sporting investment firm Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, run with Blackstone Inc. executive David Blitzer, he has stakes in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Crystal Palace FC of the English Premier League.
Blitzer is also part of Harris’s consortium for the Commanders, according to a person familiar with the matter. Should they win the bidding, Harris and Blitzer will need to divest their stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers, after they acquired a portion of the NFL team in 2020.
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