Dan Snyder is finally selling the Washington Commanders, and the group led by billionaire Josh Harris will be taking over after the sale is approved by NFL owners.
The group led by Josh Harris has completed a signed agreement to purchase the Washington Commanders from Daniel Snyder. The agreement gives Harris and his investors a 90-day exclusivity window to attempt to have the $6.05 billion deal approved by the NFL finance committee and ratified by the league’s team owners.
Harris’s group apparently put down a nonrefundable deposit to be awarded the window of exclusivity. The amount of that deposit was not immediately clear, although people connected to the process had estimated it could fall between $100 million and $300 million.
Because of the agreement, other bidders are barred from the process for 90 days. At least one other bidder, Canadian commercial real estate developer and private equity executive Steve Apostolopoulos, had remained active in the process after Harris and Snyder reached the unsigned, nonexclusive deal that was submitted to the NFL.
The purchase and sale agreement calls for Josh Harris and partners to acquire the Washington Commanders from the Snyder family. The agreement is subject to NFL approval as well as the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 12, 2023
The official announcement:
“The Washington Commanders and a partnership led by Josh Harris have entered into a purchase and sale agreement, it was jointly announced on Friday, May 12th.”
Statement from Dan and Tanya Snyder:
Statement from Commanders Co-Owners Tanya and Dan Snyder pic.twitter.com/uW8UTOgfsU— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) May 12, 2023
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement for the sale of the Commanders franchise with Josh Harris, an area native, and his impressive group of partners. We look forward to the prompt completion of this transaction and to rooting for Josh and the team in the coming years.”
Statement from Josh Harris:
“On behalf of our entire ownership group — including Mitch Rales, my longtime sports business partner David Blitzer and Earvin Magic Johnson — I want to express how excited we are to be considered by the NFL to be the next owners of the Washington Commanders and how committed we are to delivering a championship-caliber franchise for this city and its fanbase,” Harris said in a statement.
“Growing up in Chevy Chase, I experienced first-hand the excitement around the team, including its three Super Bowl victories and long-term winning culture. We look forward to the formal approval of our ownership by the NFL in the months ahead and to having the honor to serve as responsible and accountable stewards of the Commanders franchise moving forward.”
Statement from the NFL:
“League staff and the finance committee will review details of the proposed Washington transaction. Any transaction needs to be voted upon by the full membership with 24 of 32 votes needed to approve the sale.”
Statement from Magic Johnson:
I could not be more excited to be a partner in the proposed new ownership group for the Washington Commanders. Josh Harris has assembled an amazing group who share a commitment to not only doing great things on the field but to making a real impact in the DMV community. I’m so…— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 12, 2023
Statement from Mark Ein:
Honor of a lifetime to partner with Josh Harris, one of my best lifelong friends from when we first met in kindergarten at Rollingwood Elementary School in Chevy Chase, MD, and another dear friend Mitch Rales to buy our hometown team - the @Commanders. Can’t wait to help make… pic.twitter.com/oz7vyGM6D6— Mark Ein (@Markein) May 12, 2023
Statement from Joe Gibbs:
Joe Gibbs approves of Josh Harris. A statement from the Hall of Fame coach: pic.twitter.com/nINKfXgjcM— Matthew Paras (@Matthew_Paras) May 12, 2023
Among those involved in the group led by Josh Harris:— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) May 12, 2023
Mitchell Morgan & family
Santo Domingo family
The NFL’s finance committee met this week and had raised some concerns about the Harris group and their bid. While the deal is expected to get approved, the complexity of the deal and the number of limited partners involved could possibly push an approval vote past the target date of the next owners meetings(May 22-24).
“Everyone wants it to get done,” one person familiar with the deliberations said Wednesday. “I’m not saying it can’t get done. I don’t know. We’ll have to see.”
According to that person, questions were raised during the committee’s meeting about some financial aspects of the deal. That person said the deal is complex and includes an unusually large number of limited partners. Another person said the finance committee emerged from the meeting with less clarity and certainty about the deal than it had beforehand. The finance committee generally vets any proposed sale and makes a recommendation to the owners, who usually follow the committee’s recommendation.
If no ratification vote is taken this month, the NFL could schedule a special meeting for the owners to take an approval vote over the summer. The owners’ next scheduled meeting would not be until October. Before Wednesday’s meeting, there had been cautious optimism that the sale could move forward in the coming weeks, possibly with the owners taking a vote at the Minneapolis meeting to approve the deal on a conditional basis.
NFL owners will be updated on the Commanders sale at their May 22-23 meeting in Minneapolis and it's anticipated that a potential ratification vote by the owners would occur "in the coming months," source says.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) May 12, 2023