Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is not allowed to bid for the Washington Commanders, team banker Bank of America told The Billionaire, a person briefed on the sale process confirmed to Athleticism.
The person added that Bezos’ bidding ban had been a reality for months.
Bezos owns the Washington Post, which ran a series of articles documenting a culture of sexual harassment within the team that ultimately helped build pressure to sell. But beyond that, team owner Daniel Snyder has long felt, his loved ones have said over the years, that the newspaper has worked hard to oust him from the NFL.
“It’s a free country, he can sell to whoever he wants,” said the person briefed on the sale process. Bezos, because bidding is prohibited, did not have access to the team’s finances.
On Friday, the New York Post first reported that Snyder was pulling Bezos out of the sales process and added that the Commanders owner could decide to keep control of the franchise he’s owned since 1999 if offers don’t reach the desired price.
However, a person close to the situation said Athleticism this activity with the potential sale has “intensified”.
Athleticism also confirmed a Washington Post report that Bezos was working with banking firm Allen & Co. as he considered a bid.
Commanders coach Ron Rivera concluded a month-long search for an offensive coordinator last week. New recruit, former Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, asked Rivera and team president Jason Wright for clarification on the sale of the franchise during the meeting.
“That’s part of what I had to answer for sure,” Wright said Thursday after Bieniemy’s introductory press conference. “And that’s my job, isn’t it?” I’m the closest to it all. Eric, like all of us, sees the transition as a good thing for the organization… There are only positives for the organization, and we have already had great success in rebuilding the football side of the business from where we started. when Ron took over.
Bezos didn’t make a bid in the first round of bidding which closed recently.
Those offers were reportedly below $6 billion, although sports banking and legal professionals said some could have topped that figure.
Previously, the word in the market was that Snyder wouldn’t accept anything less than $7 billion, a figure that now appears to have dropped to $6 billion. That’s still $1.35 billion more than the Denver Broncos sold last year, a record for a professional sports team. While the Broncos are in a smaller market, the Commanders market attendance and reputation is among the worst in the NFL.
Under intense pressure to sell the club following waves of scandal and negative attention, Snyder announced in November that the club had retained the services of Bank of America to lead a process that could result in a full or partial sale. of the team, although doubts persist, he will follow through.
Those doubts will only be stoked by Bezos’ exclusion and the fact that the offers may not have reached Snyder’s preferred threshold.
“It plays out exactly how many people feared,” a sports lawyer said of the scenario where Snyder would create an unrealistic price threshold, shut out the richest bidder and not sell the team.
One of the bidders is the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils and Crystal Palace partner Josh Harris. Other reported potential bidders have failed the Broncos, including media investor Byron Allen and Clearlake Capital founders Behdad Eghbali and Jose Feliciano. Harris also made an offer on the Broncos.
Athleticism previously reported Harris recently toured the team’s facilities. Two rounds with potential bidders have taken place, a person familiar with the matter said Athleticism.
Wright said Bieniemy asks about Washington managers as much as the team seeks information from its possible new caller.
“I mean, of course, asking about the stability and the organization and the transaction process and the sale and all of these other things,” Wright said. “For someone who is going to be a close colleague and a leader determined to get us to a championship, it was important to be able to respond to that.”
Commanders and Snyder are the subject of an NFL investigation into sexual harassment and workplace misconduct, as well as an investigation into concerns he withheld income that was to be shared with others. other owners. Both are overseen by former Securities and Exchange Commission chair Mary Jo White.
It’s been more than a year since the NFL hired White to investigate, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has repeatedly said the league has no control over whether its investigations end. Some view this claim with skepticism, believing that the results of the investigations could be discarded if Snyder sells, or threatened with release if he is reluctant to sell.
Colts owner Jim Irsay became the first of Snyder’s peers to say publicly that Snyder’s ouster was justified during the league’s fall meetings last year, telling reporters in New York that ” there will potentially be “enough support from other owners to have Snyder removed.
It would take 24 of the 32 owners to vote to oust one of their peers, an event that has never happened in any league in the United States.
If that happens, Snyder is safe to argue that he can’t get a fair price for the team because he’s forced to sell and the bidders know it, said a sports investment banker, who demanded the anonymity because he has done business in the past with the team. NFL owners will want to see the higher price tag as it affects their own franchise valuations.
How Bezos’ exclusion fits into this narrative, however, is unclear. And it’s still possible the NFL will pressure Snyder to let Bezos bid.
Bezos’ Amazon is a partner of the NFL through its broadcast of Thursday Night Football. And there’s even talk that Bezos might sell the Post, though that’s enough for Snyder and his apparent visceral dislike of anything newspaper-related, is uncertain.
(Photo by Jeff Bezos: Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today)