Lemieux, Burkle exploring potential sale of Penguins

According to a published report, Penguins owners Mario Lemieux & Ron Burkle have begun the process of a potential sale of a portion or all of the team. The duo bought the Pens out of bankruptcy in 1999 for some $107 million – & the team's value is believed to be more than five times that amount today.
Author:
Publish date:
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

According to a published report from TSN.ca, Pittsburgh Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle have started an investigatory process in regard to the sale of some or all of the franchise.

Billionaire investor Burkle and Hall-of-Famer Lemieux, who purchased the team out of bankruptcy in 1999 for an estimated $107 million, have hired the financial services firm Morgan Stanley to explore a sale, according to the report. This wouldn't be the first time Lemieux has sought either a new investor or a new owner outright for the Pens: in 2006, he agreed to sell the franchise to former Blackberry magnate Jim Balsillie before their pact disintegrated around rumors of relocation.

In 2007, Lemieux and Burkle decided to retain their ownership of the team and announced the Penguins would remain in town on a 30-year-lease to play in the current Consol Energy Center. A November, 2014 Forbes.com analysis pegged the Pens' current value at $565 million.

UPDATE: The Penguins confirmed late Wednesday they had hired Morgan Stanley.

“We conduct periodic reviews of our business and, because we have received several inquiries about the franchise in recent years, we decided to engage Morgan Stanley for their insight and counsel,” Lemieux and Burkle said in a joint press release. “After buying the team out of bankruptcy, ensuring its long-term future in Pittsburgh and creating a strong foundation for continued success, we believe it is time to explore our options.”

Lemieux continued on to say he and Burkle do not intend to step away completely from the organization.

“Our goal all along was to solidify the franchise both on and off the ice,” Lemieux said. “Our star players are signed to long-term contracts, they’ve got a deep and passionate base to support them, and I believe the Penguins are well-positioned for the future. Regardless of what happens, I plan on staying involved with the team in some capacity, and Ron and I plan to retain an ownership stake.”

TOP HEADLINES

Adam Fox
Play

Five NHLers That Avoided the Sophomore Slump

Are they growing up or just going down? It's just a matter of time until we all find out.

USATSI_15988471_168394049_lowres
Play

Maple Leafs Move Rasmus Sandin out of Lineup for Salary Cap Purposes

Head coach Sheldon Keefe said Rasmus Sandin was taken out of the lineup for salary cap purposes, signalling an activation of a player from long-term injured reserve may be in the works.

U18 Graphic

Top 15 U-18 World Championship Performances by 2021 NHL Draft Prospects

The younger generation may have been the ones in the spotlight, but the U-18 World Championship showcased the best the 2021 NHL draft class had to offer.