Bengals owner Mike Brown just got a little richer. Well, that’s not necessarily true. He owns a little more of his team today -- which might, in effect, make him slightly poorer. Either way, Brown purchased the minority share of the franchise held by the estate of one of the team’s co-founders, Austin Knowlton.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Brown purchased about 30 percent of the Bengals for $200 million.
The team announced the sale today, saying that although Knowlton’s estate had already reached terms to sell its team shares to New York investors, Brown had a right to match the terms of that deal. Which is exactly what he did.
“This transaction solidifies the local ownership of the Cincinnati Bengals, with the Brown family continuing to hold the controlling interest,” the Bengals said in their statement. “The Bengals have been locally owned since the Club’s inception in the mid-1960s and, as a result, have enjoyed long-term stability. The Club’s football operations will not be affected by the transaction and no further or carry-on transactions are contemplated.”
“We are proud to be the owners of the NFL’s Cincinnati franchise,” Brown said in his statement. “We are committed to steps that will continue the Bengals as an asset for Greater Cincinnati.”
This means the Brown family owns most of the 586 team shares, and according to an economics professor reached by the Enquirer, the purchase “will do wonders for Mike Brown’s balance sheet.’’ So, it might make him richer, after all.
And it will make sure that whatever Brown wants to do with his squad -- whether that’s making sure the team stays in Cincinnati (or moving it somewhere else, I suppose) or simply continuing his reign as one of the most-disliked owners in the NFL -- no one has the ability to stop him.
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