Wyc ownership group planning to make Celtics available for sale

Red Right Ankle

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Them being horrible owners is based on 50 years of owning an original six team with a huge and loyal fanbase and delivering one cup in that timeframe.

Bruins fans are the worst. Keep all Jacobs away from our Celtics please.
Ok cool guy
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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As long as those appearances are heavily weighted toward playoff availability, and the results (as I strongly suspect) frequently resemble Finals Game 1, please just tell me where I sign up for that.
I don't disagree with you. I should clarify that chances are if he makes that few appearances, it's not due to load management and if the injuries are that serious/numerous you tend not to be able to just get healthier or play a higher proportion of games during the playoffs.
 

benhogan

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Not shocked by Wyc's announcement, been saying a divestment was a possibility for the last 6 months

We want something that looks similar to the Cuban deal. A deep-pocketed Gambling/hospitality group, like DraftKings, MGM, Tribes, etc to be a majority owner (+ Steve/few others as minority owners)

Need an outfit that economically benefits when the C's win, that also has the experience, ambition, & patience to build.

OR they could get Silver (other owners) to get behind a PIF stake, depending upon your views on sports washing.


The ownership group can always pull a Cuban. Add a deep-pocket partner, realize billions in capital gains, and retain operational control.

There is zero reason not to retain on-court talent when the demand for NBA franchises is off the charts.

The playbook has been put out there if you care to look at who Cuban added
 

joe dokes

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"The general sense is that there is hope......"? I guess that means that the *idea* of Pags is OK with most in the org?
 

Reardon's Beard

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I would be surprised if Steve didn't come out on top in all of this - maybe with additional support and partners but he'd be the majority owner.

Best possible outcome IMO. Barring the SoSH limited partnership jumping in to win the day.
 

ragnarok725

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Not shocked by Wyc's announcement, been saying a divestment was a possibility for the last 6 months

We want something that looks similar to the Cuban deal. A deep-pocketed Gambling/hospitality group, like DraftKings, MGM, Tribes, etc to be a majority owner (+ Steve/few others as minority owners)

Need an outfit that economically benefits when the C's win, that also has the experience, ambition, & patience to build.

OR they could get Silver (other owners) to get behind a PIF stake, depending upon your views on sports washing.
It has been repeated several times in this thread that Cuban does not have a role in the basketball operations anymore. He's just a minority owner that is helping the brand not get too closely linked to the shitty politics of the new majority owner.

I don't think that's a scenario we should be rooting for in any sense.
 

benhogan

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It has been repeated several times in this thread that Cuban does not have a role in the basketball operations anymore. He's just a minority owner that is helping the brand not get too closely linked to the shitty politics of the new majority owner.

I don't think that's a scenario we should be rooting for in any sense.
The entire point of the Cuban deal is about getting deeper pockets to pay the players/taxes in years they are in contention. Those deep pockets need to have a game plan to expand revenues, hence gambling/hospitality/real estate buyers.

And I'll repeat, who cares what Cuban's title or role is now or going forward (besides MC)? He's not making the real basketball decisions. If Mark & Wyc want to stick around with some figurehead title, sit on the floor and high-5 the players when they win fine they can do that.
 

ragnarok725

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The entire point of the Cuban deal is about getting deeper pockets to pay the players/taxes in years they are in contention. Those deep pockets need to have a game plan to expand revenues, hence gambling/hospitality/real estate buyers.

And I'll repeat, who cares what Cuban's title or role is now or going forward (besides MC)? He's not making the real basketball decisions. If Mark & Wyc want to stick around with some figurehead title, sit on the floor and high-5 the players when they win fine they can do that.
I guess I just don't know why you assume, just because the owners have deep pockets, they'll set money on fire with luxury tax repeater money they'll never make back.

Most prospective owners who can buy into the current price of sports franchises can afford to do whatever they want. It's not that they can or can't spend, it's whether they're willing to lose money to win.

We want an owner who views it as a hobby first, business second. Ideally that person has deep enough pockets to sustain a lot of financial pain, but the most important thing is they care enough to not run it strictly like a business.

I don't think that's what's happening in Dallas. It's not an ideal model to follow. Hell it was closer to ideal before Cuban sold.

The ideal owner profile for the Celtics is Ballmer.
 

Justthetippett

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I guess I just don't know why you assume, just because the owners have deep pockets, they'll set money on fire with luxury tax repeater money they'll never make back.

Most prospective owners who can buy into the current price of sports franchises can afford to do whatever they want. It's not that they can or can't spend, it's whether they're willing to lose money to win.

We want an owner who views it as a hobby first, business second. Ideally that person has deep enough pockets to sustain a lot of financial pain, but the most important thing is they care enough to not run it strictly like a business.

I don't think that's what's happening in Dallas. It's not an ideal model to follow. Hell it was closer to ideal before Cuban sold.

The ideal owner profile for the Celtics is Ballmer.
Maybe a Ballmer-type now, after the Cs have won, who may have a slightly longer, more patient view. Coming in and spending a ton of money to GFIN hasn't gone all they well for the LAC and will, at some point soon, lead to some fallow years (and perhaps a gun shy attitude going forward). You want a guy who is willing to spend but not one who is forcing it, if that makes sense.

I think this almost certainly ends up with Pags and some group. The whole thing is too convenient.
 

benhogan

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I guess I just don't know why you assume, just because the owners have deep pockets, they'll set money on fire with luxury tax repeater money they'll never make back.

Most prospective owners who can buy into the current price of sports franchises can afford to do whatever they want. It's not that they can or can't spend, it's whether they're willing to lose money to win.

We want an owner who views it as a hobby first, business second. Ideally that person has deep enough pockets to sustain a lot of financial pain, but the most important thing is they care enough to not run it strictly like a business.

I don't think that's what's happening in Dallas. It's not an ideal model to follow.

The ideal owner profile for the Celtics is Ballmer.
Where have I said that? I'm not assuming that anyone would burn money.

I've specifically said we want an ownership group that is motivated to grow revenues by building around the Celtic's success via real estate, hospitality, gambling.

Waiting for Ballmer? Steve Ballmer is the 6th wealthiest person in the world. I wouldn't count on that white knight showing up


You totally have the Dallas Mavericks situation upside down.
Mark Cuban hasn't paid the TAX since 2011.

Their new ownership group is motivated to spend on winning since they want to build hotels/arena/gambling presence in Dallas

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/mark-cuban-explains-sold-majority-stake-dallas-mavericks-rcna131499

Mark Cuban sees a future of NBA ownership where the advantages will be in real estate.

The high-profile billionaire says that’s why he sold his majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks to a pair of families with strong ties to the hotel and casino industry.

The NBA on Wednesday approved Cuban’s sale of a controlling interest in the Mavericks to the Adelson and Dumont families, who run Las Vegas Sands Corp.

The deal was approved just shy of a month since Miriam Adelson and Sivan and Patrick Dumont announced their intention to buy the club. The purchase is in the valuation range of $3.5 billion.

Patrick Dumont, Adelson’s son-in-law and president and chief operating officer of Las Vegas Sands, will serve as Mavericks governor. Adelson is the widow of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Cuban will be the alternate governor with a 27% stake in the club and will maintain control of basketball operations. He made it clear there were no plans for the franchise to leave Dallas.

“The advantage is what can you build and where and you need to have somebody who’s really, really good at that,” Cuban said before the Mavs’ game against Cleveland on Wednesday night. “Patrick and Miriam, they’re the best in the world at what they do. Literally, around the world.

“When you get a world-class partner who can come in and grow your revenue base and you’re not dependent on things that you were in the past, that’s a huge win,” Cuban said.
 

ragnarok725

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I've specifically said we want an ownership group that is motivated to grow revenues by building around the Celtic's success via real estate, hospitality, gambling.

Their new ownership group is motivated to spend on winning since they want to build hotels/arena/gambling presence in Dallas
Can you explain how an owner could build real estate, gambling, or hospitality interests that would be directly benefited by the team winning? Or how that could work for the Celtics given their stadium and regional situation?

I guess I'm really not understanding the connection, nor do I see how those interests will motivate the Adelsons to throw a ton of luxury tax money at the Mavs.
 

benhogan

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I guess I'm really not understanding the connection, nor do I see how those interests will motivate the Adelsons to throw a ton of luxury tax money at the Mavs.
The MAVs have added salary this offseason & will be in the tax for the first time in 15 seasons.

Salary projected for 2024-25: $203M
Salary projected for 2025-26: $220M

They are clearly committed to paying the TAX more than Mark Cuban.

The Adelson's must
A. be big-time MAVs fans
B. like speculating & burning $$$ for the hell of it
C. believe spending on the MAVs will help with RE, hospitality, and potential gambling success

I'm guessing C but YMMV

https://www.spotrac.com/nba/dallas-mavericks/yearly
 

ragnarok725

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Maybe a Ballmer-type now, after the Cs have won, who may have a slightly longer, more patient view. Coming in and spending a ton of money to GFIN hasn't gone all they well for the LAC and will, at some point soon, lead to some fallow years (and perhaps a gun shy attitude going forward). You want a guy who is willing to spend but not one who is forcing it, if that makes sense.

I think this almost certainly ends up with Pags and some group. The whole thing is too convenient.
Yeah, to be clear I don't think they need an actual Ballmer. Pags and friends could work great.

When it comes time to make a decision about whether to keep a player or to make a particular move, the hope is that the owner isn't looking at it strictly as a business decision. Because you can't really justify spending the kind of money the Celtics have lined up for tax payments the next few years and later in the window unless you have some ego and fandom tied up in it.
 

bankshot1

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While the NBA currently frowns upon sovereign wealth funds controlling a NBA franchise, there is nothing to say the (Saudi, Abu Dhabi, China etc) , sovereign wealth funds from becoming a large minority partner, under a controlling general partner. These funds are huge and globally diversified and a $2B-6B+ investment in a global iconic franchise would nary cause a concern and likely be eagerly sought. Would the Saudi's like a chunk of the Celts? They ain't the always relevant Lakers, but they ain't bad.

Now whether they could exert undue influence or be popular with fans is another matter. But as the size of these franchise investment increase, the size and liquidity of the sovereign wealth funds might become a popular or less objectionable exit strategy for owners looking for the next trillionaire to cash them out.
 

mcpickl

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The MAVs have added salary this offseason & will be in the tax for the first time in 15 seasons.

Salary projected for 2024-25: $203M
Salary projected for 2025-26: $220M

They are clearly committed to paying the TAX more than Mark Cuban.

The Adelson's must
A. be big-time MAVs fans
B. like speculating & burning $$$ for the hell of it
C. believe spending on the MAVs will help with RE, hospitality, and potential gambling success

I'm guessing C but YMMV

https://www.spotrac.com/nba/dallas-mavericks/yearly
Mark Cuban paid 56.7M in tax last year.
 

Red Averages

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This has been the most logical going back to when Jaylen signed the max and we knew there would be luxury payments that Wyc couldn’t afford. It’s a huge testament to Wyc that he did it knowing this was th outcome and 1000000000% why I would never want DraftKings (unless it was mega fan Matt Kalish and his wife who are courtside for every game (thx for the tickets Matt if you’re reading)).

Pags has the money, he has the desire, he already started owning more, and he has the ownership connections via multiple franchises and taking many companies public for 30 years. Get it done, Theo, no Brad, no Irv. Get it done Irv.
 

Salem's Lot

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This has been the most logical going back to when Jaylen signed the max and we knew there would be luxury payments that Wyc couldn’t afford. It’s a huge testament to Wyc that he did it knowing this was th outcome and 1000000000% why I would never want DraftKings (unless it was mega fan Matt Kalish and his wife who are courtside for every game (thx for the tickets Matt if you’re reading)).

Pags has the money, he has the desire, he already started owning more, and he has the ownership connections via multiple franchises and taking many companies public for 30 years. Get it done, Theo, no Brad, no Irv. Get it done Irv.
I am extremely confident that Pags will end up being the majority owner. Wyc wouldn’t be able to say that he plans on being governor until 2028 unless he knew who the new majority owner would be.
 

DavidTai

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I am extremely confident that Pags will end up being the majority owner. Wyc wouldn’t be able to say that he plans on being governor until 2028 unless he knew who the new majority owner would be.
Why not just sell straight up to Pags instead of declaring a sale, then?
 

InstaFace

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It just feels like introducing an unknown into the equation where the potential is there for some Saudi investor to say what the hell, and bids 10 times whatever Pags bids.
Wyc (well, Irv) isn't obligated to take the high bid, though. Or is he? Will Silver lean on anyone thinking about doing something other than establishing a much higher baseline for team pricing?
 

lovegtm

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You do this to create a market for what you’re selling.
Exactly--it's hard to even have a conversation with Pags about the price if there aren't other buyers.

And if someone does come in with a ridiculous price, I'm sure Wyc isn't opposed to considering it somewhat...
 

nighthob

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While the NBA currently frowns upon sovereign wealth funds controlling a NBA franchise, there is nothing to say the (Saudi, Abu Dhabi, China etc) , sovereign wealth funds from becoming a large minority partner, under a controlling general partner. These funds are huge and globally diversified and a $2B-6B+ investment in a global iconic franchise would nary cause a concern and likely be eagerly sought. Would the Saudi's like a chunk of the Celts? They ain't the always relevant Lakers, but they ain't bad.

Now whether they could exert undue influence or be popular with fans is another matter. But as the size of these franchise investment increase, the size and liquidity of the sovereign wealth funds might become a popular or less objectionable exit strategy for owners looking for the next trillionaire to cash them out.
I’d prefer Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (Government National Pension Fund of Norway) buy the Celtics (if we’re choosing between SWFs). It’s hard to hate the Norwegian government and it’s the richest SWF in the world (north of 1.6 trillion the last time I looked). Heck, they could afford to buy the Celtics, Bruins, and the Garden with money found in the seat cushions.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I am extremely confident that Pags will end up being the majority owner. Wyc wouldn’t be able to say that he plans on being governor until 2028 unless he knew who the new majority owner would be.
Wyc can put whatever conditions he wants on the sale of his stake. this is pretty much what Art Modell did when he sold the Ravens to Steve Bisciotti. 49% (minority stake) at time of sale; option to buy the remainder in 4-6 years. If someone wants the Cs, they’ll agree because it’s not going to come up for sale again for decades.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/1999/12/20/modell-agrees-to-sell-ravens/
 

benhogan

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Wyc can put whatever conditions he wants on the sale of his stake. this is pretty much what Art Modell did when he sold the Ravens to Steve Bisciotti. 49% (minority stake) at time of sale; option to buy the remainder in 4-6 years. If someone wants the Cs, they’ll agree because it’s not going to come up for sale again for decades.

https://www.baltimoresun.com/1999/12/20/modell-agrees-to-sell-ravens/
Exactly. There are a dozen different ways Wyc can cut this up.

I wouldn't be shocked to see many of the less wealthy family owners/Governors (ie Jeannie, Holt, Bennett) look to sell down stakes over time while retaining a vanity/figurehead title as minority GPs for as long as possible.
 

BringBackMo

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In a vacuum, we certainly do want an owner that is willing to pay onerous luxury tax bills when the C’s are in a championship window. And that probably does mean deep pockets, a fan’s mentality, and a motivation to win that inspires a willingness to spend. But to my thinking, that is not what has made Wyc’s ownership so great. It has been his long-term thinking, commitment to stability, terrific eye for organizational/front office talent, willingness to listen to and trust that talent, and willingness to take huge fucking gambles, when he and his organization think the odds are right, that can fly in the face of league conventional wisdom. In retrospect, trading KG and PP for the Nets picks was obvious, but we don’t have to look too far back in just our own team’s history to find an example of how much pressure there can be to NOT make these kinds of deals. And we forget the massive blowback the team received for drafting JB at three and, of course, for not drafting Fultz, and instead trading down to number three where they knew they could get the guy they really wanted.

I’m not saying that no other organization has a culture like this. The Spurs are an obvious example of one that does, and perhaps the Warriors and Heat are as well. But I am saying that this combination of traits, skills, people, and vision is rare, and that it is significantly more responsible for the C’s successes these past two decades than just a willingness to spend during a championship window—though that willingness IS crucial! Yes, the Adelsons are likely to spend, spend, spend, but are they going to be committed to the hard work of building an organization that is dedicated to sustainable winning? In some ways, the massively rich owner who doesn’t care one whit about spending restraints can be the precise opposite of a formula for long-term success. It’s probably too early to judge Steve Cohen’s ownership of the Mets, but I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that the results so far have been less stellar than he’d expected when he started throwing blank checks around Major League Baseball.

I suppose that this is all a long way of saying that we should be careful what we wish for when identifying a preferred buyer for the Celtics. What gives me confidence is that I believe that Wyc will continue to be a fan of the team long after it is sold, and I suspect that once the bids have all been submitted, he will weigh not just the dollar figures but also the vision, experience, and motivation of the suitors. And I suspect that he might be willing to sacrifice a small bit of money (emphasis on small) in order to place the team with the right buyer. And the comforting thought is that there may be no better judge of the right combination of attributes to keep the current culture going into the future.
 

Justthetippett

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I’d prefer Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (Government National Pension Fund of Norway) buy the Celtics (if we’re choosing between SWFs). It’s hard to hate the Norwegian government and it’s the richest SWF in the world (north of 1.6 trillion the last time I looked). Heck, they could afford to buy the Celtics, Bruins, and the Garden with money found in the seat cushions.
I was going to mention this too. Let's bring in the vikings. Granted, they don't need to sportswash quite as much as others, but this fund is based largely around petroleum proceeds. Celtics wear green, greenwash... It's a perfect fit!
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Exactly. There are a dozen different ways Wyc can cut this up.

I wouldn't be shocked to see many of the less wealthy family owners/Governors (ie Jeannie, Holt, Bennett) look to sell down stakes over time while retaining a vanity/figurehead title as minority GPs for as long as possible.
I’m not an estate/tax attorney but it’s my understanding that estate planning for pro sports teams ownership is so complicated and doesn’t always achieve what the owner wants that it is way easier to sell the team and split the $ up in the will. so I understand what Wyc is doing.

Sportico did a series on this issue a few years ago. Here’s the first installment on the Broncos, which did not end well: https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2022/nfl-team-succession-1234687557/

A later article discusses the Chiefs, which has gone better.
 

benhogan

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I’m not an estate/tax attorney but it’s my understanding that estate planning for pro sports teams ownership is so complicated and doesn’t always achieve what the owner wants that it is way easier to sell the team and split the $ up in the will. so I understand what Wyc is doing.

Sportico did a series on this issue a few years ago. Here’s the first installment on the Broncos, which did not end well: https://www.sportico.com/law/analysis/2022/nfl-team-succession-1234687557/

A later article discusses the Chiefs, which has gone better.
Agree, the tax planning is very complicated (way above my pay grade) for the Boston Basketball Partners since they paid $360M over 20 years ago. PLUS they borrowed a large portion of that $360M, so their returns will be much more than the 10-15X estimates that have been reported.

I agree with BBM that Wyc has done an excellent job. He did everything in his power to win (while pulling back during seasons when they weren't in contention). I suspect he stayed out of the way of Danny/Brad & Zarren's shrewd bball moves.
 

lars10

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I’d prefer Norway’s sovereign wealth fund (Government National Pension Fund of Norway) buy the Celtics (if we’re choosing between SWFs). It’s hard to hate the Norwegian government and it’s the richest SWF in the world (north of 1.6 trillion the last time I looked). Heck, they could afford to buy the Celtics, Bruins, and the Garden with money found in the seat cushions.
I feel like there have been rumors for years that Norway would pay out a portion to their citizens out of the fund such that every citizen would get $1 million or so.. has never happened but I’ve wished for my family over there that they’d do it… also that it happened before my mom became an American citizen/renounced her Norwegian citizenship. If they also owned the Celtics.. all the better.
 

Senator Donut

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Wyc is on CNBC right now alongside the Larry O'Brien trophy.

He gave some more specifics about the two closings. The first closing will transfer 51% percent of the club and the final closing in 2028 will transfer the remaining 49%.

CNBC asked if he will stay on as governor through 2028. Wyc said something to the effect of "that's the plan" indicating to me that he's flexible on that in negotiations.
 

ifmanis5

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Wyc is on CNBC right now alongside the Larry O'Brien trophy.

He gave some more specifics about the two closings. The first closing will transfer 51% percent of the club and the final closing in 2028 will transfer the remaining 49%.

CNBC asked if he will stay on as governor through 2028. Wyc said something to the effect of "that's the plan" indicating to me that he's flexible on that in negotiations.
Here's a clip.
View: https://twitter.com/SIChrisMannix/status/1810430431097131487

Wyc Grousbeck says his family—he was very clear on that —wants to sell 51% of the Celtics “fairly soon” and the rest by 2028. Says it will be “quite a bidding process.”
 

radsoxfan

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So the full team will be up for sale including Pagluica’s portion? Or am I misunderstanding that?
Maybe Pags either wants it all or he wants out. If he doesn't win the bid he will be selling his portion along with Wyc?

Just a guess, I am still unclear who owns what % and how the entire thing is currently set up.
 

SoxinSeattle

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I read it as the family selling 100% of their majority stake. 51% now and 49% in '28. Minority share holders aren't affected unless they want to be. Right?
 

Jakarta

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Maybe BBP is selling all of its shares but the new ownership group (BBP2?) is expected to be a lot of the same people. Not sure why those that are remaining would want to incur capital gains tax now, but maybe spreading it out over a couple years is preferable to a lump sum whenever they do exit.
 

benhogan

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I read it as the family selling 100% of their majority stake. 51% now and 49% in '28. Minority share holders aren't affected unless they want to be. Right?
That sounds about right, but there is some vagueness on Wyc's part (so he can get the most $$$ + extended power)
1. The 51% divestment now from the Grousbeck family gets them a huge chunk of capital.
2. The 49% sell in 2028 keeps Wyc as Governor

hopefully, he can eat his cake & have it too

Once pitch books are created by the banks and circulated reporters will get more details.
 

HomeRunBaker

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To be fair, Irv may have a noticeable drop in energy within the next few years, which is what this is all about anyway.
The tone with which Wyc kept referring to him being part of a family and this being a family decision makes it feel like the last thing in the world Wyc wants to do is sell this team. Just a hunch.