SBD/Issue 41/Franchises

Rooney Brothers Aim To Sell Steelers Shares To Dan By End Of '08

Rooney Has Assembled Team
Of Investors For Steelers Stake
Steelers investors Tim, Art Jr., Patrick and John Rooney are "working on details of an agreement to sell their shares" to their brother Steelers Chair Dan Rooney and his son, Steelers President Art II, and to "get NFL approval by the end of the year," according to Ed Bouchette of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. In order to do so, the four brothers need to "present an agreement to the NFL in time for its finance committee to consider it and then send it along to the league owners meeting" scheduled for December 17 in Dallas. Art Rooney Jr. indicated that the agreement the sides have been working on includes a "gradual transfer of each brother's shares over a set number of years" to Dan and Art Rooney II, who have "assembled a team of investors for the purchase." The Rooneys, who each own a 16% stake in the club, thought that they were "close to a deal among themselves over the past two weeks, but it stalled recently as lawyers and family members haggled over specifics." Art Jr. said, "Two Wednesdays ago, I thought we were starting to get this thing bundled up. But the devil's in the details; you look at things, go over them again and again and get advice." The brothers are hoping to have an agreement approved by the NFL by the end of '08 because of "extra tax consequences they believe will be introduced retroactively to the beginning" of '09 by President-elect Barack Obama's administration and Congress. Art Jr.: "There's a deadline because of this big tax situation. It has to be settled in good time. I think everybody knows the clock is ticking." Bouchette notes the offer from Dan and Art Rooney II is the "only one the other four Rooney brothers have considered over nearly two months." Art Jr.: "I think Dan is the last man standing." Dan Rooney has "parted with his interest in the racetracks," per an NFL request for the brothers to either "divest themselves of ownership in their two racetrack/casinos or in their ownership of the Steelers." Art Jr. "nearly has done so as well" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/11).

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