SBD/December 7, 2011/Franchises

Packers Stock Sells Fast In Team's Effort To Raise Funds For Lambeau Field Projects

Packers allotted 250,000 shares at $250 per share plus a $25 per order handling charge
The launch of the Packers' fifth stock sale in the team history yesterday “was met with enthusiasm,” with 28,000 shares sold in the "first two hours and 20 minutes," according to a front-page piece by Richard Ryman of the GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE. The Packers allotted 250,000 shares, at $250 "per share plus a $25 per order handling charge, to raise money for $143 million in expansion and improvement projects at Lambeau Field.” The sale is scheduled to end Feb. 29, but Murphy said that it “could be extended if there is sufficient interest.” If the Packers choose to sell more than the 250,000 allocated this time, Murphy said that they “might have to go back to the NFL for additional approval.” Florida-based Packers Jon Littnan said that the computer system used to buy the shares “was slow at first.” It took him “about 15 minutes to get on the site using two computers.” New Hampshire-based John Rokes reported that “later in the afternoon it took him about five minutes to buy a share.” Ryman notes prior to the sale yesterday, the Packers “had 112,148 shareholders owning 4,750,937 shares” (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 12/7). USA TODAY’s Matt Krantz notes the stock “pays no dividends, and cannot be sold or traded on a stock exchange.” The shares “can only be transferred to a family member,” and shareholders receive “no preferential treatment in terms of tickets” (USA TODAY, 12/7). In N.Y., Paul Tharp notes shareholders “can call themselves team owners, and buy special apparel saying so.” They also “get to vote at the team’s annual meeting and watch the team practice” (N.Y. POST, 12/7). Murphy noted there are “special apparel lines that only shareholders can purchase and on those times when we do win the Super Bowl, they get Super Bowl collections” (Bloomberg TV, 12/6).

PERFECT SEASON JUST A COINCIDENCE: Murphy said the Packers' current undefeated record had nothing to do with the stock sale, as it has been "something we’ve looked at and studied for awhile." Murphy: "It really is around our plans to expand Lambeau Field. ... The stock sale was one of the ways we looked at as a way to fund it. We thought about seeking public money, but decided against it just with the economy in Wisconsin and the political situation within the state we didn't think it made sense to try to seek public money for this project” ("Power & Money," Fox Business, 12/6). While this is the team's fifth stock sale, Murphy noted it is the "first where we've had the opportunity to sell online, so we weren't really sure how that would affect things." Murphy: "We tried to be fairly conservative with our estimate and what we budgeted. But I do think being able to sell stocks through the Internet online really opens up a much more national market than we've had in the past” (“Fast Money,” CNBC, 12/6).

MAKING THE ROUNDS: In Milwaukee, Don Walker notes in addition to the appearance on Fox Busines and CNBC, Murphy yesterday was on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" and syndicated radio show "The Jim Rome Show." He also appeared “on local television stations in the Green Bay area, held a news conference once the sale commenced and also did a teleconference call with national writers.” The Packers “even sent out an email blast to fans who had signed up to get Packers news and special offers” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 12/7). The Packers are running a half-page ad in today’s USA TODAY touting the team’s stock sale (THE DAILY).
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