Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula explores selling non-controlling, minority stake in franchise

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula are exploring the possibility of selling a non-controlling, minority interest in the franchise, the team announced on Friday.

A person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press the stake in the team the Pegulas would be preparing to sell would be about 25%. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that detail was not announced by the team. It was first reported by The Athletic.

The Bills announced the Pegulas have hired Allen & Company to oversee the process, while stressing no sale would take place without the Pegulas maintaining a controlling interest in the franchise.

The Bills also announced the sale is limited only to the Bills, and not any of the Pegulas’ other holdings, which include the NHL Buffalo Sabres, the American Hockey League Rochester Americans and National Lacrosse League franchises in Buffalo and Rochester.

The prospect of selling shares of the Bills comes at a time the franchise is facing a cash crunch with rising construction costs of the team’s new stadium being built across the street from its current facility, and scheduled to open in 2026.

The initial cost of the stadium was pegged at $1.4 billion when a preliminary agreement was struck with the state and county in March 2022. That number jumped to $1.54 billion months later and was last projected to be approaching $1.7 billion in August.

The Bills are responsible to cover any cost over-runs beyond $1.4 billion, according to terms of the agreement, which locked in the public share at $850 million.

In August, Terry Pegula chose to have the Bills and Sabres operate as separate entities by dissolving their parent company, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, in what was called a move to streamline both operations.

The sale of Bills’ shares also comes at a time when speculation continues to rise over whether the Pegulas are interested in selling the Sabres. A second person with direct knowledge of the Pegulas’ plans told the AP the Sabres are not for sale.

The Pegulas, who made their fortune in the natural gas industry, have a reported net worth of $6.8 billion. They purchased the Bills for a then-NFL record $1.4 billion in 2014. Last year, Forbes listed the Bills as being valued at $3.7 billion.

Kim Pegula has been unable to fulfill her duties while dealing with significant language and memory issues after going into cardiac arrest in June 2022.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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