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Deal close for Washington Commanders football team

Deal close for Washington Commanders football team

A deal to purchase the NFL's Washington Commanders is about to be finalized, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN. The proposal is being driven by Wall Street millionaire Josh Harris and involves NBA great Magic Johnson.

If the deal goes through, it would put an end to Daniel Snyder's contentious ownership of the Washington team.

According to the source, the group also consists of Mitchell Rales, the wealthy co-founder of the corporation Danaher.

The Commanders, the NFL, and Harris's office declined to comment on the situation.

The team was sold for $6 billion, a record price for a North American sports franchise, according to Sportico, which broke the news of the impending purchase. Only last year was the previous record for the acquisition of an NFL team, the Denver Broncos, established at $4.65 billion.

For an estimated $750 million, Snyder bought the team in 1999, when they were known as the Washington Redskins. In 2020, the squad changed their name in response to persistent criticism. After competing for two seasons under the moniker Washington Football Team, it changed its name to the Commanders last year.

The Commanders, who are now the sixth most valuable football club behind the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, and Chicago Bears, were formerly valued by Forbes at $5.6 billion. The New York Yankees and New York Knicks are the only clubs from other sports that are projected to be worth more than that $5.6 billion.

A 9% yearly return on the team's initial acquisition price would be represented by the stated increase in value to $6 billion for the team.

Harris, a co-founder of Apollo Global Management (APO), already shares ownership of the NHL's New Jersey Devils and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.

According to an earlier CNN story, the Harris-led company formally made a bid for the Commanders in late March. Last month, Johnson, a former Los Angeles Lakers player, joined the organization.

An individual with knowledge of the situation previously told CNN that Canadian millionaire Steve Apostolopoulos made a separate $6 billion offer to purchase the Commanders last month.

Snyder stated that he is thinking about selling the team last year. At that time, Bank of America Securities was employed by Snyder and his wife Tanya "to consider potential transactions."

After DC Attorney General Karl Racine launched a lawsuit against Snyder, the team, and the NFL, accusing them of conspiring to mislead DC citizens about an NFL investigation into the club's poisonous working culture and sexual assault claims, Snyder made the decision to look for a buyer.

The complaint asserts that the dishonest actions were used to conceal information from fans and boost club revenue. The Consumer Protection Procedures Act of the District of Columbia is cited in the case as providing the Attorney General with extensive jurisdiction to hold people or a business responsible for deceiving customers.

Racine subsequently filed a second lawsuit alleging that she had defrauded ticket purchasers of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

According to the complaint, Pro Football Inc., the official owner of the Commanders under Snyder, engaged in a "decades-long unlawful scheme" to retain hundreds of thousands of dollars in season ticket security deposits from fans and "converted that money into revenue for the Team, to use for its own purposes."

The House Oversight Committee charged Snyder with creating a "toxic workplace," as well as running "a shadow investigation to target his accusers, lay blame elsewhere, and sway the NFL's own internal review" in June 2022.

The NFL fined the Commanders $10 million as a consequence of an internal inquiry by attorney Beth Wilkinson in 2021, and Snyder gave his wife control of the team's daily operations. Snyder has refuted the charges.

Some of Snyder's accusers applauded the news of a potential sale on Thursday.

"Today marks the end of a long, difficult chapter for all employees and fans of the Washington football organization," said Lisa Banks and Debra Katz, two lawyers who are repping more than 40 former Washington Commanders employees. The courageous men and women who repeatedly and at great personal danger came forward to reveal the decades of sexual harassment and financial misconduct at the team are among our many clients who we are proud of for making this moment possible. This sale had to happen because of their tenacity and persistence.

"We wish to congratulate the new owners and express our hope that the organization can start a new chapter. We anticipate that the NFL will now see that having such an oppressive environment for women is unacceptable. Sexual harassment is against the law and must not be condoned; the NFL has to be more watchful and make sure owners are held to the same standards as all businesses.